In every silenced year my mother swallowed piano wire from under the lid of her parents’ baby grand.
The metal thread quilted her lungs together with tight purple sound. Those who hurt her
feared how she taught everything in air to vibrate: the heat shot full of murmur,
the sun’s scrape against the back of the sky.
Now she sits on her lawn, mending a patch of hedge as air turns out its screen doors.
She sets her foot on a spade and every flying sound holds its tone.
Look at the milk-fed colors of her garden; look at how everything she touches calls her name. [End Page 883]
Rachel Nelson received the MFA degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she now resides. She has taught poetry workshops in Michigan prisons.