Songs for My Mother by Lynn Finger

Songs for My Mother

Every death is
its own fingerprint,
nobody’s is the same:

in a dark house,
in a ward, in the sky,
in the waves, no one
leaves in the same way.

As you sleep,
nothing speaks,
webs of dawn gather,
cindered ash motes,
the glitter as sun
streams through
the glass of your window.

The oaks outside stand
crooked. I count their leaves.
I wonder why you
don’t open your eyes.
We don’t know if you
will want to see anything

I walk in the Dante Forest
not because I want to.
It has a slight path
crossed by unsure sunlight,
where a hundred senilities
cast shadow.

My mother was a mermaid,
your story begins,
and my father a bear.
It’s not written down,
It has to have been sung to you,
when young.
You’ll know, if the words
vibrate like a bee
in your hair,
you’ll know.

In the dark corner,
the oxygen machine
roars, its own sea,
and your clock stops at 10:35.
I go home to sleep.
The shades are slant against
the evening, and that night
they call,
you are gone.

How to stop time.
It’s pouring honey
over the stars to hold them
still, but they continue,

The oak branches creak
in the night wind,
their leaves open up,
eyelashes of the sky.


Lynn Finger’s writings have appeared in 8Poems, Perhappened, Book of Matches, Fairy Piece, Drunk Monkeys, and Anti-Heroin Chic. Lynn also had a poetry chapbook released this year, “The Truth of Blue Horses,” published by Alien Buddha Press. She was nominated for the 2021 Best of the Net Anthology. Lynn edits Harpy Hybrid Review and works with a group that mentors writers in prison. Her Twitter is @sweetfirefly2.

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