Letter to My Mother

—Joan I. Siegel

Early October sky wears more gray

than your old wool sweater. Wind chills

my neck like the string of pearls left

on your dresser.  

                        Three months since

we shoveled earth’s dust into that windless

hollow where you waited for sky

to close, wind to worry our hair, rattle

branches as you turned to undoing.


                           Still my fingers remember

combing your hair, my lips hold winter’s

chill. What is left of you, intangible

as music left sounding in the flute, dissolved

in the wind and its ways. Intangible

as shadow that waits to unthread memory,

bones—renders us chill as your face that shocked

my lips when I bent the last time

to kiss you good-bye.

                                   I pulled back leaving

you un-kissed who had become some other thing

already, one of the elements—

                                               Fire. Earth. Water. Wind.

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