AGB ( / )

Two Mothers

It’s not so much the knocking on the door
That scared her
The doors would remain shut
However loud and incessant
Her naked pound would rap
It is that-
They could open

The cocktail of sweat, beer, and stale blood
Silenced the otherwise strident room
She allowed her palms to wet
From squeezing her son’s soiled shirt
As if by gripping the shreds,
She could hold on to the promise
Of his young life

The rain stabbed her skin cold
She is drenched on this somber July morning
And may never be warm again
The torrents could have stopped her
But is there a better time to own
Guilt when the murderer of a mother’s son
Is your son?

He could have been sipping his dark coffee
As she tosses him a hot pancake
On this couch where she had warmed him
As a child the chills tried to snatch
But her eyes are not baking today
They are torn between old photographs
And the dagger

The first set of knocks from her freezing hands
Were lost to the fury of water
Meeting galvanized sheets of iron
The second was blood heavy
Obtrusive like that piercing shriek of the little boy
In the cathedral yesterday

Knocks startle her,
Today they made her eyes close
Even more violently-
Telling her to forget a lifetime
Of stories shared
As they laundered
Or as they marketed
Together after mass

Her eyes opened painfully
When the knocks grew less urgent,
She felt a set of bare feet
Inch toward the living room
Her blood stained right hand shook
As it gripped and twisted open the front door knob
Of the house that Johnny built.

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