I wake, enormous, and in the pit of things.
Children are crying in the distance,
children who have not been fed for days,
their mothers’ breasts have gone cold
in their lips. Pigeons eat the crumbs they crave.
I wait for mother
Four purple candles are set
in a wreath upon the mantel.
My sisters and I are angels,
together we feel the pit,
the sad, lonely grasp of things.
The fruit grows around me
and toward me like a moon.
The skin tightens in wrinkles
like a giant wet leaf
around the world.
The children have lost themselves
in the snow, the drizzle, the gossiping night,
and the angels fly high above the oaks.
All at once, clouds fall, killing the trees.
The children stop crying, they are relieved
and in flight. The crumbs mean almost nothing now.
Soon they return into the folds of things:
into the bindings of books, pressed
between shoe and foot, along the rims
of hats. They hang themselves on clotheslines
for six whole days, as if to be washed in rain.
On Sunday they go to church.
I wait for mother.
– Published in Southern Poetry Review © Marylou DiPietro