Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Oh, Kentucky

Kentucky's poet laureate is bringing her act to downtown Paducah.

1 comment:

  1. Here's a poem by Maureen Morehouse:

    My Mother Is a Hand

    Her mother’s lips
    awoke me once when I was a visitor
    at 6 o’clock in the morning
    in Buffalo, New York,
    so many miles from Jacksonville:
    I heard the cars on the leaves in the avenue below me,
    the green walls of the room awake in the car’s red
    and the cool air was filled with someone-
    my soft-skinned grandmother bent to kiss me,
    the blue flowers of her nightgown
    small dark pools in the early summer.
    And there was a cherry tree outside the kitchen
    and her red lips were the red of black ripe cherries.
    All of this was when my grandmother was not dead,
    and before my mother became a hand,
    and when my father wanted to get an early start,
    so we were in Ohio by 8 o’clock.
    This is the artery that makes widows
    100 percent of the time,
    and yours is 98 percent blocked,
    said the doctor to my father.
    The still mouth of death.
    The black heart of morning.
    They took an artery from the leg
    and redirected the mammary.

    But even when she was not dead,
    my grandmother could not somersault towards me,
    nor to her daughter,
    nor kiss me ever again in the morning.
    Once, when thin white curtains
    blew in and out at the kitchen window,
    she felt her own mother’s hands,
    traced their green veins downwards-
    like cataracts the fabric in the breeze obscured the cherry.
    When I was a child, my soft-skinned grandmother,
    her gown a virtual perennial garden,
    her lips whispering nothing when they touched me,
    came into the room with clean, cold sheets, and kissed

    -Maureen Morehead
    from A Sense of Time Left
    Larkspur Press, 2003