What I Want to Say Driving Home After My Mother’s Checkup · Christine Jones

It’s okay.   It’s what we become;

a sepia tone same as the shadows
I’ve seen fall across Utah’s red rock,
its striations glowing, baring those layers
polished by grim and pitiless erosion.

( )

I am your daughter it seems
more glaring every day; my words
slipping, too. That look,
glazed, wonders where they are.

They’re like the sleep that doesn’t come,
or the morning paper. I’m missing you,
and your affirmative singular dots, all the while

my own ellipses pile, weightless thoughts.
Dear words, (mom let’s pray):

Brave this mouth serrated, its grave
doubt.   Scars are acceptable.

( )

The audiologist adjusts her headphones,

tells her to repeat:

Say Talk   Talk
Say Hard   Hard
Say Dog   Dog
Say Bite   ___

Say Call   Call
Say Net   Net

( )

What we fear is travelling toward us.
But so is what we love; what is good,
and tender. You are my mother,

more palpable each day, you
reminisce, tell me again (dare I say)
of Mr. and Mrs. Honeybloom,
your first apartment, pushing the stroller
downtown, of when I was young in the backseat
hugging your shoulders, you driving, us
singing Take Me Home, Country Roads.

( )

The fog persists.
Meaning anything
I say is questionable.

Not my eyes, not my ears,
not the window. But the fog.

I’m rehearsing what to say
but the fog forges my lines.
How to be understood?

A rattled burst of air strews
a small hole, enough, so if hunched
with chin jutted, I can spot
the exit sign in time.

Christine Jones holds her MFA from Lesley University and is founder/chief-editor of Poems2Go, a national public poetry project. Her most recent poetry can be found or is forthcoming in 32 poems, Salamander, Crab Creek Review, Cimarron Review, Lily Poetry Review, Mom Egg Review, Literary Mama and elsewhere. She lives in Cape Cod, MA with her husband where you can find them swimming and surfing in their shark-mitigating wet suits.