My Mother Explains the World
At four I dreaded
my nightgown patterned with rosebuds.
Everything had a spirit and spoke
translation fell to you.
God lay in wait with a crowbar
created a fanged world, starved it
told it to feed on weaklings.
Fear dropped its ink at the table
star spreading in my glass of milk
you let me use the goblet I loved
but its ruby rim admitted terror.
When you locked me in my room––
Stay there till the cows come home––
I screamed, listening to eternity
rise out of wild brambles
push its wheelbarrow through our yard
unlock the bulkhead door into the cellar.
Decisions wise and foolish
made over chili peppers
blaze my trail through decades.
Time bristles behind me, comet’s tail,
spined fruit piles high in a crater.
I'm younger than rabbit ears
older than space channels.
Birthday rolls in garish
winking mint in tinfoil––
do I carry the wisdom of ages?
I want to sit on a cake
in jeans I've worn only twice
before candles rocket from their box
croaking like pastel ravens.
Anne-Adele Wight is Vice President of the long-running series Poets and
Prophets. She has written three chapbooks and her work has appeared in
American Writing, Philadelphia Poets, Mad Poets Review, and other publications.
A self-employed editor, she loves other people’s poetry, hiking, and
rampant houseplants. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two cats. "Birthday Coming" appeared in http://email@example.com.