ISSN 2692-3912

Mother at Eighty

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I am always trying to get home in dream, but the wind wants a word

    and a fire in the woods shakes its curls

      and I lose my sword which is no sword at all

      but a wand I use as crutch

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And finally I see that there is no home

  but I didn’t realize this until they tore down the house

    slashed the trees and left the country without saying goodbye

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Abandon hopes for punishment

     The stallion loves the fields of the dead

     but it is the burn of your heart that I hear the most

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I think it better now to think of you as absence —

  that pale disc of sun on a white clouded day —

and only later remember what you were to me — bright, shining home of all my happiness

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Louise Wareham Leonard is author of several short novels, including 52 Men, (Red Hen Press, Pasadena, 2015) which is the subject of a long essay in the LARB by Amanda Fortini. Her first novel Since You Ask (Akashic Books, New York, 2004) won The James Jones First Novel Award.

A story Fiery World and an early book of poetry Blood is Blood are available as Amazon Kindles. Louise is also online in Tin House and other journals. She immigrated with her family to New York City from New Zealand and was first published in Poetry.

The title “Mother at Eighty” is after Charlie Smith’s poem of the same title in “The New Yorker” in 1992.

 

@Photo by Matthew Leonard

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