Flowing elm, your leaves blush at twilight.
My mother’s hair was never braided.

Columbine, red against the Colorado sky.
My auburn-haired mother did not come home.

Storm cloud, ride the greasy wind.
My shy mother weeps for strangers.

Pointed star, lasso the lost planet’s ring.
My mother’s heart was ripped by lead.

Oaken barrel, who taps you in the dark?
My mother’s scream lies muffled in her pillow.

AFTER CELAN by Gary Percesepe

Photo used under CC.