mothers

I remember my mother
holding me to her bosom, feeding
me with wishes; they rest in
my belly, dormant, waiting
for the time to
burst alight.

[ when i’m 7 I pick
pieces of her
off the shelves; they
paint my face, cover my
legs, adorn my sleeves.
i have her voice and
it’s strange hearing
her words
escape my lips.
i search for traces of her
in every line. ]

My mother’s mother is like
a willow, strong and
unyielding. She
plants her roots deep
into the ground
and holds on, even as
the river washes away
the soil and leaves them
bare.

[ but someday, when i’m grown
i will
peel off what’s left of them
from my skin
see it ripen like
orange peels, scent heady
and cloying;
think of the
pieces of themselves they
once pressed to my
cheeks
and leave it all
behind. ]