The Feather in the Cellar

The Feather in the Cellar

In the clapboard house, the cellar

the laundry and shelves of canned goods

where once my mother wept, soft as a feather

 

Alone upon her tiny chair of wood

her face a sadness I could not touch

the laundry and shelves of canned goods

 

So solitary, the chair she clutched

tears washed her cheeks, stained her cotton blouse

her face a sadness I could not touch

 

I stood upon the stair in the house

What could I do? I could be good

tears washed her cheeks, stained her cotton blouse

 

Hidden, so small, a child who couldn’t

fix it, watching her among the dirty clothes

What could I do? I could be good

 

I knew no words to utter

in the clapboard house, the cellar

sitting among the dirty clothes, the clutter

where once my mother wept, soft as a feather

 

(Published in Prime Number magazine online, August 2012)