Sunday, May 29, 2005

Happy Birthday Mom

Counting Ships

He uses words to navigate
the wells of grief
insists we watch
his hands his mouth
when talk escapes
he covers his lips
looks out over the harbour
counts ships like my mother
would count and exclaim
"Do you see?" in the fog
in the rain in the gaunt vapours
of December we'd see
stand next to her warm
wave our arms rub
our fingers against the cold glass.

He watches the distant freighters
slide slowly about
to port to sea like cutouts
listing against their grey
cardboard stands
and the words begin again
his hands suddenly mortal
returning to the velour coves
of his vest. I won't look away
turn my mother's mouth and chin
to the window. The ships
are always there.


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