Once mother. Once upon a time.
How the king swooped down and caught you in his net. Neck.
As in snapped. As in mine. Oh, mother,
such a wild ride, such ferocity, such conviction.
A bus filled with pilgrims, singing as the convoy sails over the cliff.
Those who seek the promised land strewn with mines.
Oh mother, once upon a time, mother. I owe you something
but what? And what of me here in this white room with the ash
scattered and the rocker stationed at the window. It’s winter. Even
the trees are cowering.
All day long I listened with my ear against the earth for something
to germinate and lift, for the ground to part, for the shoots to emerge.
I wanted you to materialize on a shiny green leaf, as if your exodus
was a temporary matter.
Kelly Fordon (she/her/hers) is the author of a short story collection I Have the Answer (Wayne State University Press, 2020), a novel-in-stories, Garden for the Blind, (WSUP 2015), a poetry collection, Goodbye Toothless House, (Kattywompus Press, 2019) which was adapted into a play, and three chapbooks. She hosts “Let’s Deconstruct a Story.”
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October 27, 2022
Just lost my own mother. This poem speaks for me as well.. My condolences, Ms. Fordon, and my thanks.