Monday, May 09, 2005


Kiss Me Goodnight Redux

Ciao amici cari!

This past Mother's Day weekend, I had the pleasure of reading my poems from the anthology "Kiss Me Goodnight" at the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Hadley, Mass. We had a good crowd in attendance, considering the incredibly foul weather on Saturday. Rainy, cold, and cold, rainy. It was truly a filthy weather day. Six of us women who live in New England gathered together and read our stories and poems about our mothers. Afterward, we had a book signing and were able to get to know each other. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to meet these wonderful, talented women. We are planning to do more readings this summer and fall. And again, my thanks to the two editors from Minnesota, Ann Murphy O'Fallon and Margaret Noonan Vaillancourt, who worked so hard to get this anthology published.

As a gift to my mother, I'm posting one of my three poems published in "Kiss Me Goodnight."


I was never a bishop,
but the world's a dream
we die in. I breathe

into her blue robe, take day lilies
from a jar out of her room
to a pail in the yard.

Who would believe the grass
growing so quickly
between the bricks,
the purslane spreading like rash

over the patio. We're done
with her dresses, hangers
and plastic bags, the trunk of yarn.

Stepping over collapsed boxes
of shoes, I carry her collection
of holy cards to the yard, burn

the saints with matches,
that from these may grow
in full sight of her

in pure stone,
the other life,
continuing long.

Wow. A series of emotions come forth when I read this poem. It is lovely, and sad, and uplifting...I cannot really describe them all and those three I just mentioned to not quite cut it, either.

I knew you were a published poet from a previous post. Thank you for sharing this one here.

Yes, I suspect we do have a lot in common, and yes, we women are resilient. At least, I'm hoping I am. And I'm hoping I have all the strength people keep telling me I have.

I have a complicated relationship with my mother, but she has taught me one very valuable lesson these past few years, and that is I can survive. She is a survivor herself, and if she's given me anything, she's given me the gift of her example.

Thanks for your kindness. If you ever do visit your relatives in Seattle and I'm in Victoria or Vancouver, I'd love to show you around.
Beautiful, Isabella. Our relationship with our mothers is so complex. And it only becomes more complicated when we mother! Thanks for sharing this.
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