When my father was four months dead & I called out, ‘Mum,
Mum’, into night’s closed amphitheatre like a loon, a curlew,
a wounded cub, my heart caught in the jaws of a hunter’s trap:
I’d hear her bedsprings creak as she rose, like a chest bursting
back into life again. ‘Mum, can I have a drink?’ was the mantra
I mewled for months, projecting my voice through our house
like a soft curse, too scared to rise myself & traverse the dark
to the kitchen sink. She always came regardless of the time,
putting her own grief aside like a watch on a bedside table.
The glass held out in front of her; the procession of a tiny
mirror that reflected my quaking desire. It was her first
Mothers’ Day without her husband, but still she rose when
I begged her to, living & dying in chorus like a supernova.
That kind of love not going anywhere but the present.