? SLAB | Sound & Literary Art Book

Issue 9


Anemone Beaulier

Mother, Before
You stood in a wash of light beside the east window
while rain tumbled

from the roof in ropes which braided
and unbraided themselves, set tulips to sway,

and unraveled in the grass.
Spring, you said. At last.

It rose at your pronouncement:
air muddled with earth

and greening, water, birdsong, a promise
of heat coming. But this

was beyond my saying then—
so I stood beside you, and you took my hand,

and that was all:
silence and touching, the calm

of years in which words meant
what they seemed to mean and—

the shadows of rain that wound across your cheeks?
They meant nothing.