When I dug my daughter from the grave,
I knew exactly what I was doing. That day
in August, the swelling heat made
everyone crazy, but I wasn’t about to stop.
I scratched furiously through the dirt,
pried the coffin open and lifted her up.
After I reached inside her, scooped out
what was left of her heart, held it
against my cheek, I imagined her grabbing
my wrists, begging me to leave her alone.
Because I refused to believe she didn’t need
me anymore, I took her home, sat her
at the kitchen table where, like always,
she came alive. She made fun of the way I
dressed a chicken, the same sloppy way
I dress myself. And when we laughed,
I thought for a moment she was mine
again. But, as usual, she had other plans.
2 replies on “Mother Love”
Oh, so sad and beautiful. Your poem captures a sense of hopeless longing…just beautiful.
As the mother of two little daughters, this poem makes me want to cry. I can sense the longing, the need for the mother/speaker to feel useful to her daughter long after she has gone (either in a literal or figurative grave).