Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Retreat of Darkness

Retreat of Darkness

Above the right ear, the first bite,

sends fingers of darkness across the sphere.

A plague of forgetfulness. I call my mother,

tell her, Look out! The eclipse is caught

center stage in her living-room window. All evening,

the threatened snow holds off. I run in and out

with binoculars, crunching frozen leaves, follow

the progress of the penumbra across the shining, fading

face. From the comfort of her couch, my mother watches, too,

her rising and shrinking dimmed by lights.

When fully occluded, the moon bleeds.

Drizzles luminous tears. The last

edge of darkness hangs on the moon's face

over its left ear, merges degree by degree

with the surrounding night. Slowly evaporates.

Over her right ear, my mother's brain tumor

has grown large as a lemon. Next week, the surgery.

Dancing from foot to foot, I blow the warmth of my breath

into icy hands, and wait until the shadow passes

completely and the moon is bright and whole again.

~ ~ ~

Mary Stebbins

For Margaret

070117c, 3A, 3-5-04; 2A, 11-9-03; 1F, 11-8-03, 1st

earlier draft sent to sent to Women Artist's Datebook 12/03, not accepted

earlier draft sent to Talking River Review 3/4/04, not accepted

P365-07P Project 365 2007 Poetry entry for today

My mother died yesterday.

(c)Mary Stebbins Taitt January 17, 2007

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