Janet A. Baker

II.III. Section Four: Play BannerSection Four: Play

Janet A. Baker
 
With Mother at Hot Springs
 
the old woman hums in the shower
she recites all night in her sleep
her lips whisper now at the hour
of our death amen forgive us our sins
 
she stumbles grasps the rails
legs blue over dead toes
slides into warm water
and in weightless breaststroke
begins her old ballet
 
as long as her watery stories pour forth
I hold my mother in fluid we share
lime green swim suit blue desert day
 
swimmer in her high eighties
me in my mid-fifties
my smooth roundness
near the flaps of her skin
 
like ruffles of ashen petticoats
layers of her cascade
netted in dark veins
 
she ripples in sulfur moments
and I see for the first time mother
naked and happy
 
 
 
Janet A. Baker grew up in the Iowa farm country and now lives in San Diego, California. Her poems have recently appeared in Briar Cliff Review, Cider Press Review, Wild Goose Poetry Review, and Adanna Literary Journal. Janet is a professor at National University, San Diego.
 

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