by Emily Benson
I try to imagine/try not to imagine
My mother’s flesh parted under white light
The noise the substitution must make
And what becomes of the old bone?
The fused connection born of my grandmother
Who long ago gave up the heels she used to dance in
She envied how they looked on me
And I think of that as my own joints ache
My knee giving way suddenly on the stair
She sleeps now more often than not
The pond outside her hospice window
Unseen in snow and sun and flutter of leaves...
Is there a shine on the new parts?
Inside, where no light should again penetrate
Or does it rest dully within the web
Of blood vessels and connective tissue
Growing ‘round it like a tree
Cradles farm implements left in the field
An oak lifting a chassis above the loam
My fingers probe my own scars
Seam where life from life from life emerged
While my mother heals and Nana dreams
Of the tart taste of lemons and
Of dancing dresses her mother made
And did she ever prick a finger while she sewed?
Blood staining each generation in turn
The little tears in the fabric stitched closed
But leaving a mark to remember the wound
Emily Benson writes poems of love and longing, family and nature. She lives in Western New York with her husband, two sons, and two cats.