For My Mother

On What Would Have Been Her 83rd Birthday

Wisps of dream blur the outlines of the bed,

The bed floats like a stage in a room filled with your breath.

In this scene there is no apron, no embrace,

Just the awkward triumph of your presence,

Proof of your brief stay on earth:

Shafts of light streaming with dust.


Oh vanished one, there is no ease in mourning,

No moment of reprieve for the curtains that keep billowing

Without you, the hammock that keeps swaying

In your absence, this room

Where there is no desk, no clock, no floor:

my heart opening and shutting without rest.