The Best Literary Writing About Mothers and Motherhood

Anne Graue – Poetry

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Anne Graue

 

Piece of My Heart


Come on. The rain fell on the long
drive across New York, along
the southern tier—each mile
stretched out before and after
with bare trees, creeks, and winding
snow. The ice hanging from the rocks
in still photos of black and white.
We traveled to hear you sing, to find
what we had created, our
daughter’s voice atmospheric, adrift
in melody, aerated
with grins and glimpses,
then bursting in mezzo soprano
brilliance across the room, the salon
with sofas, wingbacks, and armchairs
facing the piano and you like Erato
or Calliope, singing Scottish folk songs
and a German dirge. I’m listening
and wondering how this happened,
how a woman can be strong and weak
and how you know that I cry
deep down in my heart and could never
find those notes you hit so towering.
They cross the air in waves
dispersed just enough
for the audience to recover
from the purge and hold on
to what they never had
before—the sounds that are you—
what you salvaged
from your distress to say
that you were tough and would
not reveal anything that you
didn’t want to. Come on. Take it.

 


Anne Graue is the author of a chapbook, Fig Tree in Winter, and has poetry appearing in numerous journals and anthologies, online and in print. She also has reviews in Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Whale Road Review, and The Rumpus, and at Asitoughttobe.com, where she is a contributing editor.

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