Often She Arrived To Find Her Mother At The Door
by Barbara Young
Absence began with a stutter-step,
became a rift, a cliff, a flight from
which Mom would return, baffled,
and sad for the bones of her arms.
When the weather let her she would
walk her mother to the lake beyond
the parking lot. She pushed the chair
like a shopping cart, said Look, Mom,
a goldfinch. Said mallard. Cattails.
Said I was rereading the Mahfouz
you gave me and thought. Said
clouds, cumulous. Shopping words
to sustain a dying language. Once
they found her, resting, on a green
rickety park bench. I was going to
the store for bread and that soda
that my daughter likes. Thank you.
I have been longing for a cup of tea.
Barbara’s process notes: My husband, my cousins, my friends. I see strangers–“friends of friends” on Facebook–repeating the forms. We’re on both sides of the cart, slipping from one to the other overnight. This began with a word list prompt.
Barbara Young is aging without grace in Nashville, Tennessee. She likes puns, cats, and fantasy; is prone to depression; drives a car that’s larger on the inside than out. Blogs at FRED HERRING.