Remembering in Part

The Church is auctioning off its precious artifacts.
My mother's hands press into the floured dough.

In lot three, a set of praying hands, nineteenth century, Alsace Lorraine.
With her hands behind my head like a benediction, my mother pushes me off to school.

I am searching for a body, terra cotta, to go with these hands.
When she danced with my father, my mother had to reach up high to clasp his neck.

In the next millennium all the severed limbs and detached torsos
will reassemble, will resemble a whole.

In a quiet corner of the house my father holds my mother.  I find
them this way, in my room, weeping.

Copyright 2000  Sharon Olson


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