My friend’s mother gropes a metal grocery cart,
yells at sidewalks, flails her broad arms to the moon.
They tell him she talks to waves—
he waits for the breaking
of her dissonance.

My friend loves a girl but can never
have her home for dinner;
the quiet of family wrestles in his mother’s brain—
she rocks at the kitchen table,
legs crossed, right foot numb from blunt stamping
until the noise is all she feels.
She takes to the streets,
salvaging small, coarse garbage,
cart-worthy shards of brown glass.
“The river’s skin,” she repeats to damp air.

His mother twists her face with the wind,
steps forward and backward five times,
stops to suck the rain:
chin up, lips pucker, eyes close and breathes.
My friend loves rain—
cool layers clean his deep river cuts.
When the bottom drags him in,
the quiet tends.

Published with permission by the author. “Lady” previously appeared in Blue Earth Review (Spring 2010 print issue).

Photo by Simon Clarke

Theresa Senato Edwards is founder, editor and publisher of Holly Rose Review. She has poems published online at Pirene’’s Fountain: A Journal of Poetry, and forthcoming at Touch: The Journal of Healing. Other poems appear in the 2010 print anthology of Boxcar Poetry Review, the 2008 print anthology of CircleShow (SevenCircle Press), and online at Stirring, Press 1, decomP, Clean Sheets, Chronogram, and elsewhere. Edwards seeks a home for her first poetry manuscript, Voices Through Skin, from which the poem, “Lady”, is taken. She also is working with Lori Schreiner on a collaboration of work that can be found online at AdmitTwo, Autumn Sky Poetry, and elimae, an electronic literary magazine. Her third book of poetry, tentatively titled, Sister Sequence, is a work in progress. When she’s not busy writing poetry, Edwards teaches literature and tutors writing at Marist College.

[Poetry Break Editor Note]