IF THIS IS THE LAST MEMORY OF MOTHER
Color falls from the sky
in small increments, like waves
fading. Mother comes to the nest.
For three nights she was away.
David, too small to understand,
cried and slept.
I dreamed mother was not well.
A heavy stone pulled my heart down
and fish swam in the wrong direction.
In the room of scientists,
as the next day came
hearts were kites flying.
Of headless trout and twisting midshipmen
the eaglets happily fed.
Ma and pa took turns swooping in
and away. The waves moved over
the rocks. Wind sang songs to the trees
who held handfuls of little birds.
What I am trying to say is this.
That the sun caught fire and burned the sea.
Wildflowers danced in fields of grass.
And mother, after pa tidied the nest
and tucked the eaglets in,
moved toward the center.
David, always eager for her warm
moved under. Most of him too big
to fit, his head well into the world of feathers.
And Alexandra, bigger and braver
leaned in too.
Mother gathered them up to her heart,
and the sound of its beating,
and let me try to find the words,
--fed them from the universe,
calmed them. Sang to them.
Like the song of all spirits who love,
and all mothers, who somehow
always know the words
to the little sleeping song.
for Mother Hornby
c2011 T.L.Stokes (all rights reserved)