POEM FOR MY MOTHER

My mother sits with her legs apart

Her useless freckled arms are shaking

Yellow liquid drips down her leg

through a tube, into a slowly filling bag

"Fine," she says, "fine",

"Where's Daddy?"

Her ugliness enrages me:

the incessant little grunts

the fixed eyes

the bad smell

How dare she become a monster!

Oh mother,

where is your talcum powder

your footsteps playing the stairs' piano

your chemical anger

your liveliness, a fountain in the sunlight?

 

Why does she hold so fast, like a scab to skin?

She should do the decent thing

and die

A risky climbing of the inner ladder

escape through the open eyes

hold her breath

and go

She cannot do it

She is falling slowly backwards

her head hitting the rungs

becoming a chimpanzee, then a lizard

a lichen on a rock

in some cold stream