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Friday, May 12, 2006


Failed Mother's Day Poem

I tried to write a Mother's Day poem for my wife, but it turned into something else entirely. Oh well. I'll try again tonight or tomorrow. We have a happy marriage, really!

Sluicing for Mother

The word sluice should mean more than this
wooden trench flowing in a thin square river.
A chart tells tourists what kind of mothers they'll hope
to sluice. A sunburned man with a broad nose sells
bags of dirt—Some Contain Real Hidden Mothers!—
to travel tired Dads and kids who won't leave it
alone. "You lost our last mother," they say.
And Dads shrug. It's true. Why deny it?
One man mounted their mother in a cheap setting.
A raised solitaire, she snagged on sweaters and loose sleeves,
once even scratching her son's soft cheek with rough facets
so sharp they shined. Square sieves wait by the sluice.
And clear water rushes its narrow channel. Two kids pan
for moms. They pour bags the sunburnt man prepared,
hoping for a real mom like his sign promised.
Dads know kids will settle a cheap mom over none,
"Made in China" stamped on her left heel.
Who cares if her painted smile wears off too soon?
Who cares if her mommy hugs are too loose?

HillCountryWriter Category: Poetry
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Your poetry is relentlessly evocative. I'm stirred in deep places and continue churning. Thank you. Stop it. Write more.

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