© 2019 by Justin Hunt, text and photos

I

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Fest Parade, Some Years
Before My Mother’s Death

 

My mother stands in our yard and waves.

As the people of our town march past,

they are blind to the pain she cradles,
for her smile flares like a bursting sun.

 

As the people of our town march past,

they cannot count her waning years,

the orbits she has yet to spin

in wobbling solstice-tilts toward dark.

 

They are blind to the pain she cradles,

see only her fire, not sorrow—

the blaze she sets to smelt memory

and make things right, if just for today.

                                   

My mother stands in our yard and waves.

Her smile flares like a bursting sun.

The people turn to her and speak

their shadows, for they are drawn to light.

Her smile flares like a bursting sun

above the house my father built, the place

she tends with bony, age-spot arms—

alone in the dust of love, its quarrels.

 

My mother stands in our yard and waves.

 



Shortlist, Strokestown International Poetry Competition, 2019 (Ireland). Appears in Strokestown Poetry Anthology 3.