Stuart Beatch: My Mother's Body
My Mother’s Body
Poem by Zara Neukom
Ravens lift, weightless in the updraft
snow dusts clay like flour on a stone surface.
My mother, white-haired goddess on thin legs
watches the wind-players and laughs with them.
I watch my mother watch the birds. Her soft eyes fall
and lift again. She was sick for a year a year I wasn’t home.
When the organ of your body that is programed to give life turns
against you, how do you still say woman?
I was drinking in a hostel half way across the world. I remember I had 3 minutes of Internet left
when I opened the email with a picture of my mother with cloth for hair. My dad shaved his beard. I cried
in a room full of faces I didn’t know.
A flock of ravens is called unkindness.
I’m watching them in the lines of my mother’s body
and it seems impossible to believe
in bad omens. She steps on frozen
sage. And for a minute laughing
feels like floating