the way i speak to my mother

Poetry by John Bellows
Issue 28 • June 2015

the way i speak to my mother
yesterday we went out for breakfast
together, your treat, you were passing through town again.
we went somewhere new and we were the 4th and 5th people
to be there.
we sat in a booth because
your knees hurt. we talked about money
because i don’t work. because
i’m still figuring it out, but i will, i know it you
say, over and over and over.
keep me secret, teach me safe, and in between
knife strokes we’ll talk about my day.
i want to sit at this table
forever with you. i want to eat pancakes
malted in sweet syrup, with you,
hold my hands like you used to, squeeze me like
the child that i am. i said i’d call you
the next day and as usual i’m sorry.
i could lie and say i’ve been busy but the truth is that
i forgot.

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