THE GRAMMAR OF THE MOTHER
She’d look at me with that teasing crinkle
at the corners of her green eyes
and sing that song I laughed at where
I was her sunshine, her only sunshine.
That being the case then she was my moon,
that steady still gaze in the navy sky,
inky as my old school uniform.
My early time was blue and green,
father’s sky-and-sea eyes like mine,
mother’s eyes as rare in the world as wealth.
You were such a sweet baby,
she’d say, and I’d hold you on my lap,
and I’d laugh right back and tease her;
didn’t she wish she could have kept me there
all safe and good. It was her sadness that I grew
less sweetly. Now with her gone
I range and roam the round blue world
and each night again she looks down.
NANCY KEATING‘s poems have appeared in New Letters, Gettysburg Review, The Southampton Review, and elsewhere. A two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, she has an MFA from Stony Brook University and teaches at Farmingdale State College.