Saturday, February 1, 2014

Darla Mottram- Two Poems


Mother died alone
in her low-income apartment
facedown on the floor.

Meth muddled her
brain, along with a
burst blood vessel.

She watches from
the Pacific, where
they flung her ashes.

I hear her wailing
warnings to the wind,
so I cover my ears.

Mother died alone.
Sometimes I think she wants
me to do the same.

Snow Dogs

We traverse the paved path
as if it is the tundra, heads bent
against wind, eyes half shut,
aching for an absent sun.

We veer off the path
into frosted grass, feeling a little
freer, a little less restrained.
The wind hurries us along,
flapping my jacket,
flurrying his tail.

He is a husky, a snow dog:
he belongs to the wind–blown wilderness
of the frozen northlands.
That is a long way from home
for both of us.
We are domestics.
We have soft feet
and softer wills.

His instincts usurp his upbringing.
He dashes from one smell to the next,
tail waving like a banner in the wind.
If not for the leash in my hand,
he would revert to his better nature--
he would run as one whose days
are numbered not by calendars
but by breaths.

In the falling darkness,
in the swirling dust of snowflakes
fluttering dove-like to the ground;
I can almost believe
that if I begin to run with him,
if I let go of the length of leash tying us
together, if I close my eyes and open
them again,

I too will be a snow dog,
and this stretch of dead grass
will transform into tundra
and all I’ve ever known
will be only a dream I once had
which I can no longer recall.

Darla Mottram is a full-time student at Marylhurst University in Lake Oswego. She plans to graduate with a degree in creative writing and promptly begin her life as that person who spends Saturday nights doing tarot readings for her cat.

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