the mother of my disappearing act in books? Are
you the mother of the clothes I wear, the
body I walk around in?
I think so, yes. Are you the mother of the mirror
in the hall today, where sideways at myself I saw
for once your chin there, anchoring my face where
always before it was just Daddy's eyes and neck?
I think so, really. You are, right? the mother of
my silliness, my sleepiness, my strength? You
are, yes? the mother of my mothering, my
arms around my boys?
I know you are. I grew grown-up in bathtubs full
of water you collected, boiled in kettles; I learned
my trade at your elbow, my book-learning from
your books. My mothering from you.