MY MOTHER'S ROOM
My mother’s room is always dusted.
She keeps dried poppies and blue cornflowers
in printed cardboard boxes,
photographs with ruffled edges
playbills, letters bound together.
A passport photo of my father
with a tender kiss in black and white.
An earnest blond man (not my father)
amidst high wheat. He holds a pipe.
He became a journalist and drank too much.
In my mother’s room
sit on enamel shelves.
She didn’t want to go to trade school.
One day I watched her stretched out on the rug
in our living room
gazing out the window doors, across the fields behind our fence at dusk,
past the cherry tree and range of rainy hills,
the last elevation before the land flattens out toward the sea.