my mother’s house (Inspired by Audre Lorde’s Yemanjá)

blue red and yellow abstract painting
Photo by Steve Johnson on

My mother has two faces and a wine glass

blood and ice fill the cup


her eyes a story of visitors

who came to break the circle

of salt

men who dragged their toes across the line

in front of her door


I am a daughter

Waiting for home to feel whole

Ripping postcards

Paper promises

Mother promises

to come home again

Hasn’t she been home again?


mother, lost in a black bucket

a bucket of memories


somewhere holding

the handle of the frying pan

fixing her tears for breakfast

wet amber soaks my plate



under the kitchen towel

pins and needles under her eyes

Somewhere she is

under red robes

the curtains I’ve cut down


my Mother

let anger back into this house

dancing in front of men

with your weak knees


dancing in front of men

with beads for eyes


mother as I stood there,

I remembered you in a dream

you were running on train tracks

or were you then

swimming in subway water

I yelled in my sleep


the train is coming”

you looked up at the lights

came to me

as if nothing was wrong


Mother! be careful

I’m sick of pain

getting into this house


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