Lifting by Judy Kaber
I split free from the paper mask
of my face, nose and eyes emerging
first, while a halo of night sky blesses
me, as if I can see for the first time
beyond the ice works of my body,
as if my cells remember the waking
moment in the womb. I recall
the soft cradle of my mother’s arms,
face so close her breath became
mine and then years so soon later
her hair thin, scalp exposed, my own
voice choked with not knowing
what to do while my mother lies
dying. Years have scratched
lines into me, hoed me back under
the weight, the fertile soil of what
my mother hoped for me, thin hair
roots of nourishment in the dark
urging me to break, and so I cry
at night when no one can see me
until the tears thin my skin, until
leaves bloom at my neck, until I push
through the torn aperture into
painful fragments of sky.
Judy Kaber lives in Belfast, Maine. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, both print and online, including Eclectica, Off the Coast, The Comstock Review, and The Guardian. Contest credits include the Maine Postmark Poetry Contest and the Larry Kramer Memorial Chapbook Contest for her chapbook Rehearsing in the Dark. Additional work may be viewed at www.judykaber.com.
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