In the meadow, one bent head of grass, frail
as a woman approaching the long afternoon
of her years.
I used to watch my narrow-
waisted mother sit on the edge of the bed
after her bath, and count the rosary
beads down her spine.
Mystery, what is this image
you have brought, thin as a wafer
slipped through the window’s hinge?
She says I am old,
I am a woman living
alone in a house of two floors,
four rooms, seven beds.
A cloud of scent
surrounded her after her bath:
nimbus of talcum, her own signature
of breath as she leaned to kiss me.