You'Ll Catch Your Death
Days like this day: no Manna from heaven-
by Amberlee Carter
my mother’s voice is the rain
tapping against the windowsill because
I left the window open last night, all night
so that the smell of spring and home
would leak through the sparse holes in the screen
to meet me in my dreams- while I slept;
a peaceful relinquish of the world-
when there is havoc in the atmosphere:
lightning amputating the long limbs of trees—thunder
causing an earthquake in heaven,
and clouds that roll across the sky in every shade of black-
I sleep without interruption, without restlessness.
Mother’s words- child come in out of the rain.
you don’t know what portion you dread the worst—
your mother’s concerned voice, or the fear of absolute
surrender to the unknown.
It’s been 8 years,7 months,6 days,5 hours and 58 minutes
since her death—but time stands still. It neither amounts
nor measures the distance between the pause of that moment
and every beat since then— it simply collects every second of me
and prepares them for the burial chamber.
Every absent tick-tock of the sundial the light has forgotten
reminds me of her voice, now morphed into a strange language,
my own— child, come in out of the world.