Today's poem is by Michael Schmeltzer

Inherited Music

Because grey clouds gorge on themselves,
we intuitively know rain

will be the byproduct. Below them
starving palominos stomp the fallow field.

If you believe the stories
my mother bequeathed,

then you trust the shrinking skin
against their further protruding ribs

composes an eerie music, a lullaby
with ominous lyrics. It explains why

she so often crept to the barn and fell
asleep beside these creatures

while they stood lock-kneed and slumbering.
Somewhere in their stomachs, a song

you'd only sing at a child's funeral.
I never heard it, nor did I hear my mother

speak repeatedly about her mother
dying because I was deaf

with youth. At home, she nearly faded
into the beige sofa. A lit cigarette abandoned

itself to ash. There's my mother
leaning into the frayed corner of a throw pillow.

And I enter the room brashly, asking
about dinner, singing

a stupid song
I just heard on the radio.

Copyright © 2016 Michael Schmeltzer All rights reserved
from Blood Song
Two Sylvias Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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