Today's poem is by Michael Schmeltzer
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
Support Verse Daily
Sponsor Verse Daily!
Web Weekly Features
About Verse Daily
Submit to Verse Daily
Copyright © 2002-2016 Verse Daily
All Rights Reserved
Copyright © 2002-2016 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved