by David Dephy
Mother writes on her daughter’s back the name,
and contact details. Mother writes a message
to the Lord. Mother writes.
Her hopes are evaporated on the windows of the train.
Mother writes on her son’s back the name,
and contact details. Mother knows—
there is always something too precious
to be made of pain. She turns out scarves
in every breath of a child. Toys were for Easter,
and toys kept her children warm while she is dying
and dying and dying, over and over, and over again,
taking her hope of the Lord along.
She knows how it could be, how could it work,
when all those days of expectations and sunshine
she stored her heart as though the Lord came back,
and her children have their names
and contact details written on their hands and backs,
forgiving the world its own loneliness,
which is so hard to form, no wonder the war is always
the way it is, afraid of smiles and blood, the women alone,
as one wave after another.
Mother sees her child is drawing the heart on the steamed
window of the train, with her finger, and mother hears
what the Lord says.
Last updated July 21, 2022