Maui, Early, a Night of Bad Dreams

From before it's LIGHT

flung back, like palm fronds in
rose and guava wind

to five years ago
it could have been this
same day I

walked out from Hui Nuis,
ants, a necklace around the
bed like
dark stones

sun burns thru blue haze,
my mother shriveling. I was sure,
like the bamboo and camellias,
she'd flourish in the sun,

wrote her postcards each day,
imagined swooping her up
from the room half underground in Stowe

a just born, an
almost-mummy, the musk a
bluelight world

like adding water
to dried petals,
pulled back to the living,

saw us under the banyan,
nothing to scorch or chill

but like a rare cure from the
rain forests, turn her
white hair ebony again
in the pineapple wind
she'd doze and wake ravenous in

by Lyn Lifshin

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