Monday, April 26, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
When I was ten, I remember standing barefoot on sun baked pebbles on the shore of the Russian River and watching my mother swim. It nearly took my breath away. She was so beautiful and elusive. Alone. Not lonely. Just alone.
MOTHER AT THE RUSSIAN RIVER, 1964
Her hair free from the tortoise-
shell combs, the river carries her
away. True-green waters seduce
without benefit of anchor.
In the current, her hair is a dark,
exotic fan. She is not my mother as she
floats with the tamaracks in a
wordless September heat-wave.
She is the black language of the
river – a leaf, a fish, a green fist
of stone, or nothing at all but
light upon the water.
Later, she sings “Carmen” for her
children, tucked into old army
tents that smell of the river-
bottom. At the same time, she
works the wet knots in her hair
out with trained fingers.