For Mother In April


bittersweet sun, warm on my tongue
ascends on a world without you
I rise from fetal knees

to stand very still, to watch
worn, wooden shelter of songbird nectar
dance on your garden hook

grassy arms wave toward heaven
juniper limbs cup a bird, lost
in bends and folds of branches on sky

though my tear-brined heart will never forget
I can’t help being drawn by the sun
what lives on continues to burn

Her Last Third

A woman doesn’t come
to her last third lightly

but after knives and nights
have taken their bites

with guttural noises
and doubting voices

after she’s been to the waterfall
on fetal knees

where the light of death
makes clear the cost of caring

and her soul, scarred-strong,
imperfect and naked,
goes where it must.