Maria Terrone: “Nearly blind now, my mother is having visions”


Three women stood at the foot of her bed this morning,
silent when she demanded to know who they were.
For years as a child, I’d hear about the strangers
who inhabited her dreams, grim Cassandras
whispering warnings, but they’ve grown bolder
in my mother’s tenth decade—slipping into daylight,
crossing the line. So many lines are blurred
these days: between waking and sleep, between
her hand and the white pills spilled across the table,
between my half-face and my bitten lips quivering
behind the mask. Her strained eyes flutter,
and I wish I could blink away this scene
and bring back the sight of my mother,
just returned from a flea market, inspecting her finds
with a jeweler’s loop, tiny worn markings magnified
to the magnificence of 14K.
I must approach so near in order to be seen
or I’ll blur, too, daughter obscured, merging with air.
The visitors return with impunity but keep their distance.

Maria Terrone‘s collections are Eye to Eye (Bordighera Press, 2014); A Secret Room in Fall (McGovern Prize, Ashland Poetry Press), The Bodies We Were Loaned, and a chapbook, American Gothic, Take 2. Her work has appeared in media including Poetry, Ploughshares, Hudson Review, and Poetry Daily, as well as in more than 25 anthologies.

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