Jun 7, 2011

My Mother’s Closet

Written by Bruce Bond

Read by Hannah Craig

After the burial, when we broke down
the estate into child’s portions, to each
a broom, a ledger, the shuffle and design
of things we carried out onto the porch,

I opened what was once a closet full
of music, the vinyl now long displaced
by books, sixty or more, each a medical
companion, a difficult friend, page after page

flagged with the ragged slips of paper.
The stuff of faith, dire gospels, scores
of hymns with just one note, over and over,
just one note and a thousand horrors.

Doubtless they would argue in secret,
these pages soiled at the corners, the mind’s
terrific passages shocked with highlight,
glossed with scratches in a mother’s hand.

They made her the scholar of herself,
not of what she was, but of what she
could be, what she feared before the shelf
with its little study lamp, her body

glowing, lost to hours of waking sleep.
So dim, her books, she saw no end, only
the long dark well of questions, however deep
she bowed her head, anxious to believe.