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Mothers Day

By Frank X Walker

When the universe reached out for your daughter's
daughter and she reached out for you, your hands
were too full of furniture to hold her

after U-hauled the heavy weight in your lungs
from one room to the other and back
after you cloaked all the nicotine in your veins
in bubble wrap and tucked it away in the brown box

that is your body, you allowed the tattered wings
of family to escort you uptown, where you landed
like the ghost of a woman in baggage claim who
flew non-stop on Valium and a glass of wine

who admitted aloud that she was afraid, of flight
but not you, who are afraid of nothing, except flying
too low, into a room before the bleeding starts, before
grief gushes prematurely into empty hands

well after the staff deposits the tiny ink footprints
a dead baby and a pink blanket near her bedside
where a white woman's red roses would have been

Added: Monday, June 30, 2014  /  Used with permission.
Frank X Walker

Kentucky Poet Laureate, Frank X Walker is a Full Professor in the department of English and the African American and Africana Studies Program at the University of Kentucky and the founding editor of Pluck! The Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture. A Cave Canem Fellow and co-founder of the Affrilachian Poets, he is the author of six collections of poetry including, Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers, winner of the 2014 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Poetry. The Lannan Poetry Fellowship Award recipient is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and Spalding University. Walker was on the panel Raising Radical Poets and read as part of the Affrilachian Poets Reading at Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness 2010.

Other poems by this author