catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 12, Num 2 :: 2013.01.18 — 2013.01.31


Remembering mother

I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.

Mary Oliver

She rode a cycle, legs astride, skirt ballooning like wings. Kitchen smoke folded into her skin, mixed with slivers of lemon she dipped into the jar of water. The yard carried her smell in the braids of mint runners that spread around her feet.

She picked the guava, ripe and soft in her hands, richly fragrant on the sleeves of her blouse that she had fashioned with gathers of laces that flitted like dream in my sleep after she disengaged her fingers from mine and withdrew into the dark night.

Her face closed like a moonless sky, a veil of cloud graying her sad eyes as they rested on me, her thoughts spiraled in eddies of anxiety. Rubies on her ears were hard on my skin when she gathered me and breathed a deep sigh.

After all these years I can smell her out in the bazaar, jasmine coiled on her dark tresses, plaited into a band of memory that weighs and tugs my heart. She looks at me tenderly across the milling crowd; she is wearing silk, bolts of colors spread like arcs of happiness.

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