AND WE TRY TO FIND GESTURES FOR OUR HUMANITY WHEN WE’RE YOUNG by Rodney Terich Leonard
She’s behaving midnight again.
Her bedroom blinds shut.
The installation of quilted drapes.
Scribbling J.T. repeatedly on notepads.
This is when I grease her scalp.
What a harvest—
Mounds of envelopes on the nightstand.
Before opioids were news.
This is her green house—
Rot plowed from the root,
what unravels here has sprouts.
Galatians verbatim on her tongue;
her children—Amen, Amen—
are starched in the eyes of God.
She wears her own hair & Fashion Fair.
Stutter ignores her penchant
For fried whiting & hushpuppies.
No one I know calls her baby.
But this isn’t a portrait
of the patient slow dancing,
ambulance parked in the driveway.
Here is a woman as monument;
the flash for this sitting was gratuitous.
Her legacy is how not to ask for much:
“Give a child what you can & fertilize it.”
My mother’s allure wasn’t from a magazine;
Jet came later.