by Sade Collier
It is seven o’clock in the evening and my mother
drops a half-chopped onion into a pot of stew,
turning the entire kitchen into a mess of steam. I
eye my dusted copy of Beloved hoarding the countertop,
and a teardrop falls from hers, wandering aimlessly
to the floorboard that creaks beneath her feet.
such fragile things. Her baby is leaving soon,
carried by the same winds she curses
in her rocking chair. A news headline reads:
Local Teen Found Dead At University, Police Report.
She wants to engulf her child all sheaf-bound, reap
the very roots she planted, create a vase out of grief;
mold her womb-fresh and milk-stinked once more.
Birds beat their wings to the pale sky burned
into a rusty-umberic memory, then flatter gently
against the kitchen window. The floorboards,
sixteen-year-old safety harness, turn nearly prismatic,
disorienting mess, and shatter into pieces. The mother,
once a vetereaned onion-chopper, bats her eyes genteel
as though she has to hold the world
with them. Her hand, its calloused creases released
from the grip on the knife, fall limp
against her night dress. Oh,
what children we make out of our mothers.
About the Author
Sade has previously written for Affinity Magazine and has been published in the Huffington Post.