Last Spring


When the mist lifts, Mt. Pisquah is still there,
            its wet green flanks waiting in any weather
while my mother lays down in her own landscape
            of soft, folded skin, and remembers
another mountain she’d like to climb once more,
             surveying this unbearably vivid day
before giving birth to the next life.

She doesn’t inventory what she’s lost,
            but we bear witness to what remains,
the way Mt. Pisquah stands irreducible
            no matter how many wild iris grow and wither.
Each season is like new love, as unique as my mother’s face
            when she turns with eager eyes toward
those who enter her room, still curious to know the contours
            of the hearts she gathers for her journey.
She’s packing light, discovering how little she needs after all:
            her skin, a bed, her daughters’ voices carrying her on.