Six Years after My Mother’s Death at 53
At a funeral, the living collect vowels and consonants: words
as exchange with the one-in-repose; words as
reminders of life’s mess.
Earth’s thud on the coffin lid is calligraphy,
the dirt granules longhand for an acceptance (of sorts),
the fug of loss &
memories as the present tense.
With no funeral for Patricia Cynthia in 2010, loss is bereft
Green fire scorches words; leg muscles are guitar-string
tight; disbelief void-weights
Recollection is an unaddressed envelope, the letter inside
with one black stroke
in a corner.
At 53 in 2016, her image is still technicolour bright.
she stands at the hall’s end, evanescent
If a day is writing productive or
I score a goal playing football, I think,
I’ll ring and tell her.
Then the bereavement
on a marathon under an empty heaven.
Living on Bundjalung Country, Peter Mitchell (he/him/his) writes poetry, memoir, short fiction, essays and literary criticism. The recipient of fellowships, mentorships and a writer’s grant, his poetry has appeared in Mini-Mega Pack (United States), Bent Street, Blue Bottle Journal, The Blue Nib (Ireland), The Ekphrastic Review (United States) & Writing Water: Rain River Reef (Red Room Poetry, 2020), among other journals & anthologies. He is the author of Conspiracy of Skin (Ginninderra Press, 2018) & The Scarlet Moment (Picaro Press, 2009). Conspiracy of Skin was awarded a Highly Commended in the 2019 Wesley Michel Wright Prize for Poetry.