Dear Mother, I have been dead too long.
I am old and eternally young. I expect to wake,
find you, for us to reunite. I expect to find him
again, but I won’t say his name for fear nothing 

has changed. I expect I will be strident forever.
Oh I was a willful girl, I know. I know. On the other hand
- the hand I press to my cheek to feel myself alive! -
if I had lived now I would have survived…

The car waiting for me at the end of the street,
his eyes combing the crowd for me, we zoom off,
my robe slammed in the door. We are gone, married
on the road. Your thinking was arcane! I’d do it again, Mother.

Wander my garden dreaming of his love, singing to him,
yes, I would do it all again. And I would fail.
Such were our times, such was your ancient hatred.
Such was the happiest dagger’s desire.

Shadowed is the garden of mothers and daughters,
where love and opposition find each other
again and again. I walk among its overgrown paths,
lie down among its closing flowers.

Dear Mother, come, uncurl me from my sleep.
Let us cradle each other in clothes of mourning.
Dear Mother, come wake me from my sleep.
I have been dead too long.

Kathleen Kraft received her MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Madison Review, Anderbo, Pirene's Fountain, Willows Wept Review, The Prose Poem Project, and Foundling Review. Her poems have been recently nominated for the 2012 Pushcart Prize and the Sundress Best of the Net 2010 Anthology. She lives with her fiance in Jersey City, NJ, where she teaches creative movement.

This poem was inspired by Joseph Brodsky's poem, Odysseus to Telemachus, in which Odysseus tells his son to grow up and move on from him. The tone is one of confusion, longing and loss. It made me think about Juliet, how she is forever immortalized in our memories as a young girl, full of passion and willfulness. I wanted to give her the chance to speak again to shed light on her predicament.



Copyright 2009