Monday, September 07, 2009

Queen's Bird by Chella Courington

Two of each—cup, saucer, bread plate
in lukewarm water, I wash away

thirty years of dust since Mother died.
At 42, ovarian cancer like Queen Mary.

Bloody Mary quite contrary
why leave your subjects crushed?

I thought I’d run into Mother if I traveled:
Chicago, Barbados, Edinburgh.

Against the sun, I raise the porcelain
eyeing it for chips and cracks. Bone china

fired from bone ash like Mother’s gray powder
handed me in a bronze urn.

Or is this cup with songbird glazed in blue
mere clay: my lips where once were hers.

First Published: Mademoiselle’s Fingertips (Summer 2008)

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I See He Sees by Chella Courington

I See He Sees

An upward draft
catches Mama’s hem
at 41st & 12th
raising it in waves
around her knees & over her thighs
a pink-striped dress
dances like the awning
at Lida’s Cantina
when a man at the corner
clutching a boy’s hand
sees Mama naked
under her flying skirt
& I see he sees
wondering why
she doesn’t hold it down
& he sees me see him
before the light turns green.