Mudlark No. 45 (2012)

Mother Slips Through a Seam of Evening

Her pupils are painted blue and slightly smeared
as if she’d hurried to their meeting from a tavern of the dead.		
Sprouting tonight from red clay, 
half in, half out of the world, unable to speak.
If a daughter could throw her voice
what would she have her say?  
Have faith in life, she’ll sing, 
in God’s way, kneading flesh into light.                                                                            

Woman, Seated

               Photo, Indiana State Archives, 1957
The tab on her left shoulder
stands oddly erect, as if she were
held in place by an unseen wire.
Brown eyes docked in her face,
row of sinks along the back wall.
Head shots, front, side.
Silver hair pushed back for business,
her mouth a faded scar.                                                                           


She lies quietly tonight, watching, 
wasting nothing, eyes contracted 
to eyelets, heart muscle wholly rendered.
Let owls walk the ground like men.
Let the sun gently pull trees up out of the ground.
Long live desire and her dark-eyed sisters.	   		
On the last day of July,
royal walnut moths open their wings.                                                                           

Stephen Knauth | Frederica
Contents | Mudlark No. 45 (2012)