After the Funeral


After the Funeral

The moon, dumb
      as a stone in winter,
pulls like a tide,
      making me look
up, when I want
      to look away,
making me stop,
      when I want to breathe
my own breath again,
      tuck my soul back —
startling me
      like a naked breast,
pearly as
      the porcelain doorknob
in my mother’s house,
      where the blinds
stayed shut.
      Now the empyrean drapes
are thrown open,
      exposing me
to the moon’s
      glaring interrogation:
Where did she go?
      I wonder if she
hunkers just
      on the shadow side —

Mom, the moon
      haunts and taunts
me —
      Mom,
the moon
      is cruel
to me —
      Mom?
The sky
      has never been this empty.


Published in All We Can Hold2016, an anthology of poems about motherhood