Jenn L. Shields
Published on: 4/19/2010
Tales of Drowning, Courtesy of Old Photographs
The picture of my mother on the dresser is
flawless, looking so delicate in its frame.
It shows my mother alone, waiting for many things.
Her stomach plump like a golden Buddha,
she flips through some magazine
that feeds her falsehoods of what life should be.
She peers at the silver clock;
it is always right, yet she longs
for it to be wrong.
The precision of time makes her sick.
She glances, again, at the door;
the key never twists to unlock the handle.
She is like the sad Lady of Shallot
trapped in that lonely tower.
He's never coming back.
He worked at the Used Car Emporium.
She remembers whispering the news into his ear.
Christ, kids are just another car payment!
(I have no photograph of him.)
Suddenly, she can feel herself drowning,
she gasps for air among
tangled weeds and vines.
Two years later, they scatter her
Ashes in that mournful lake.