Harry Powers  2005 All Rights Reserved

my mother learns how to fly

she absent-mindedly steps
off the terrace into the radiant
summer night and vanishes
mouth puckering as if to warble . . .

her friend and I pick her up
among mashed begonias
one wrist snapped swelling fast
she smiles through the grimace

as if her great three-yard voyage
had introduced her to some strange
lore or science we cannot grasp:
what light learns inside the kaleidoscope

or water from its sorrowful boiling
some subtle yet sustained change
that leaves her hanging from our arms
but already journeying toward far-off

Italy whose bridges dream in their stone
sleep whose churches disgorge life-sized
gold reliquaries full of papal bones
whose phrases slide down the throat

like the sweetest bitter chocolate
a land no travel agency dares to advertise
and which eludes the eyes behind our eyes
a dot on a stone map in a very old tongue

Marie C. Jones
Copyright 2005

 

Marie C. Jones is a poet, teacher, & translator. She earned a Ph.D. in Creative Writing (University of North Texas, 1999). Chapbook: Love Song, with Mass Extinction (Oil Hill Press, 2003). Poems have appeared in Denver Quarterly, Atlanta Review, Prairie Schooner, and other journals.


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