my mother found herself

my mother found herself one late summer

afternoon lying in grass under the wild

yellow plum tree jewelled with sunlight

she was forgotten there in spring picking 

rhubarb for pie & the children home from

school hungry & her new dress half hemmed

for Sunday the wind & rain made her skin

ruddy like a peach her hair was covered

with wet fallen crab apple blossoms she

didn’t know what to do with her so she put

her up in the pantry among glass jars of

jellied fruit she might have stayed there

all winter except we were playing robbers

& the pantry was jail & every caught thief

of us heard her soft moan she made her

escape while we argued over who broke the

pickled watermelon jar scattering cubes

of pale pink flesh in vinegar over the

basement floor my mother didn’t mind she

handed us mop & broom smiling & went back

upstairs i think she was listening to

herself in the wind singing

Bibliographical info

© 1987 Di Brandt reprinted by permission from questions I asked my mother, Turnstone Press (Winnipeg, MB).

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