BY MARY ANGELINO
I spy on my sick mother through the wall heater,
crouched at the rusted frame
until the grates line my forehead, until I grow
cauliflower knees from the living room carpet.
Parts of sentences glide through the metal.
Today, she tells my father that I took the five cocoons
(the ones she cradled in the peach jar for weeks)
and cut them each in half.
I want to tell her I hate the piano lessons,
how my hands crabwalk and stutter
across the black and white, how silences
between songs are cracks in a sidewalk,
traps for a wheel.
Mary Angelino’s poetry has appeared in Best New Poets 2010, Meridian, and 32 Poems, among others. Poems are forthcoming in The Bellingham Review, Shenandoah, and Nimrod. In 2012, she received an Individual Artist Grant from the Arkansas Arts Council. An excerpt from her poem “Farmers’ Market” was featured in the 2012 documentary, Up Among the Hills: The Story of Fayetteville, narrated by Bill Clinton. Originally from Los Angeles, she now lives in Fayetteville and teaches English at the University of Arkansas where she earned her MFA.