for the mothers
Her arms are never empty.
There is perhaps a silence
that holds the space for all this hum,
but she knows it more by faith
than by experience. Sometimes
she sees herself in the window
at night as she moves about the kitchen,
stacking dry dishes and setting out bottles
for morning. She is older now. Less
herself and more something else,
something she cannot name,
though she has stopped believing
in the power of names to contain things.
Sometimes she wonders when she
will disappear from the window.
Already she sees it, how she’s become blur,
as if tears fell on a watercolor, and all
is smudgy and hazy and vague. But
who would want to paint this scene, the making
of sandwiches, the watering of the jade.
It will come, the vanishing. For now,
the armfuls of shirts and socks. For now
the low drone of the dryer as it tumbles,
the occasional clashing of a zipper or buckle.
For now, the milk to put away.