A mother kneels next to the Dule tree, her back sculpted by endless acts of
reaching down & never up. Face blanked as glass, as breakable, soon
shattered. Mouth open, she stuffs herself
into shadow, masking the unstable.
Children come home needing more than love.
Thirsty, she sucks at a cask hole for strength, the heat inside it earthy, stinging. She calls her children’s names. All she hears back: leaves bending against each other. No matter what it takes, I will find you.
A mother knows. A mother knows the way a root knows to plunge into the ground how to remain.