Author's Note: This poem was written as a belated double tribute—primarily to my mother, Alice Lighter, who died on September 9, 1974, and also to my son, Reed Taylor, who was born shortly thereafter. He continues to further her exceptional legacy with grace, intelligence, and compassion, even after all these decades.
From a Dark Place
Who are you, child, still floating in my daughter’s womb? I didn’t know you in my time, yet you look like me— there is a flare to the nostril and a tinge to the hair that is ours. You eyes are sealed like mine, but your mouth opens and closes with incipient messages— and if I should whisper back you would listen, spinning with delight. Unfold your fingers, if you can— they are waiting to grow eloquent and strong. They will move under mine the first time you touch the watered silk of an iris, or your mother’s face. Your bed narrows, your bones are bonding as mine fall to powder. Soon we will glide away from one another—you won’t remember passing me in the dissolving dark. But you have my gifts: the chromata of our past, strung jewels I harbored for you all my life. Without their weight, I vanish just as you, moon-drenched, appear.
©2020 Marilyn Taylor
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