–For my mother

That spring, a large mass takes over her throat. She becomes a woman used to minimal air; a woman who knows how to look like she’s breathing.

Thirty years earlier there are no lumps, only an ache in her feet strong enough to be named unknown, inconclusive.
Her husband carries her from the grocery store to their daughter’s flute recitals, a new slow dance.

In between, there are vegetables. Each plucked from the garden behind the house. Her husband tills as she follows, dropping seeds into the ruffled dirt. Her feet spill over her sandals; the earth rises between her toes.

As a child, her mother buys her a new dress every year. She feels special inside the blue one with the lace collar. She fastens it tight at her throat, wears it like an unending winter.

The Seasons of Throat and Dirt, a poem by Kelly Scarff

Photo by Michael Verhoef used under Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND-2.0)