One Poem by Judith Harris

My Mother’s Grave

Now, when the cold
rain flows, I worry about it
touching her grave,

how many years it will take
to close up that suture.

My mother’s heart is buried
under sycamore leaves
covering the words
engraved on her plaque.

I can still feel the nails
of the gardener’s rake
scraping the “B”
in Beloved.


Judith Harris is the author of The Bad Secret and Atonement (LSU Press) Night Garden (Tiger Bark Press), and Signifying Pain: Constructing and Healing the Self through Writing (SUNY Press). Her poems have been published in The Nation, The Atlantic, The New Republic, The Hudson Review, Southern Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, the syndicated newspaper column, American Life in Poetry, and Poetry Daily and Poem of the Day from The Poetry Foundation and on NPR. She is currently at work on a new book of literary criticism, The Poetry of Loss: Romantic and Contemporary Elegies (Routledge Press) to be published next year.

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