I grow heavy in springtime. Feel a hard knot gather itself: push, release. I night swim bare, scissor kick chlorine on mother’s wicker chairs. Salt makes me thirsty. I swallow. Hope I’ll grow scales.
Mother tunes her piano each dawn. Plays until a wire breaks, then strings steel through soap. Delicate, her ivory fingers plot crescendos. The afternoon sings arpeggio, fortepiano as her foot slips off
The gold pedal, felt hammer strikes. I am a whole note, caught between lines. I hold my breath four beats, but nothing. This is the way it has to be. I bear, lose sight of ankles. Feel water in fingers
Rise to sea level. Black rocks whisper to me. The swell foams, waves crash a favorite song. Great egrets in flight. I am no mother. Look at me, ruining all over. [End Page 9]
Jen Edwards’s poetry has previously appeared in The Laurel Review, The Journal, Confrontation, The Pinch and is forthcoming in The Normal School, The Southern Review, and American Literary Review. She is a Ph.D. candidate in English at Oklahoma State University where she studies with Lisa Lewis. Currently, she is the Associate Editor of the Cimarron Review.