My backlit reflection stands
in the black night window,
a specter, a ghost,
my mother looking back at me.
She doesn’t belong in this cold echo;
rather, the orange dome of dawn,
the green grass of summer holding,
a porch swing, a quilt—
she was work-worn hands, a burning leaf
held in her palm, fingers tracing the veins.
She was feet dangled in water,
a fish on the end of a line vaulting free.
She was hurricane, rainbow,
a V of geese going South.
She was never a glass;
she was never a wooden sill and frame;
a nail or hammer
or pale shadow of someone else.
Photo by Bethany Zwag on Unsplash