Suppose Your Mother
Because she had thorns I now tread unafraid
through blackberry vines, gloved, bare-armed. Tear
them out, handful by handful. We understand
the necessity of sadness, of sorrow
to be separate entities, the observer
and the observed, magician and audience participant.
The most beautiful death has many hands,
is twined with murmurs and stories and songs.
Let the clay have its bones. Let the wider world
take in the consensual ash of the unbound.
Because she was bound, my mother kept
beyond keeping, breathed beyond believing,
breathed twice when I arrived while I listened
in the spaces between electrons and photons,
between matter and doesn’t. It sounded like
scraping dirt from a shoe, it sounded like nothing
that had ever been made. For weeks I witnessed
the moon’s choreography and imagined island
adrift anchor and light and the ribbons left
when the moon snail moves on. Maybe the crows
made of ash keep to the task of deathwatch
for her sake, and beauty really is a matter
of consciousness. Or a glass of wine daily
because my mother had thorns.
Poet and photographer, Ronda Broatch is the author of Lake of Fallen Constellations, (MoonPath Press, 2015), Shedding Our Skins, and Some Other Eden, (2005). Seven-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Ronda is the recipient of an Artist Trust GAP Grant, a May Swenson Poetry Award finalist, and former editor of Crab Creek Review. Her journal publications include Atlanta Review, Prairie Schooner, Fourteen Hills, Mid-American Review, and Fire On Her Tongue: An Anthology of Contemporary Women’s Poetry (Two Sylvias Press).