She is a mother like any: anxious and proud,
her thoughts for her son continuous
as the beads she fingers on her
billion-years necklace. His was
the hardest of births, since it presupposed
his opposite. He fought at her breast,
resentful of every breath. Yet she
loves him, his successes
are transmogrified to hers. She sings
at the thought of war; bakes double-sweet
pies whenever pestilence rides the land.
Bad enough to catch death’s eye
on the subway platform, or when in the back
of a big-shouldered ambulance.
Her you do not want to greet, nor knock
on her dusty door if your car
breaks down in the country road.
She will eye the pulse pecking your artery
like a chick in its shell; recall that
she has not telephoned her son since
the first frost took the roses last week.