cambridge book review

Going Bonnie Again

Norma Gay Prewett

Cleaning a space to plant pansies, I glance
Deep into their cat faces and think of Mama—
Each Spring she gloried in burning and trashing,
Loved the birdsong and bright stalks emerging
From the depression of Illinois winter.
Fought her own depression with back-rending
Hoeing and raking, making new out of old.
Once my own boy asked her why
People have to die. I held my breath—
Regarding his sky-blue gaze and awaiting
Her answer. “Look at this green shoot,”
She said, budging the lilac with her shoe—
“the old stuff has to die to make room for the new.”
Mama, today, on my 59th birthday, your death-
Day three years ago, I feel the truth of you,
The deep, unlettered beauty and wisdom
And truth of you.

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April 1, 2010 Posted by | memoir, poetry | , , | Leave a comment