Please help the Black Earth Institute continue to make art and grow community so needed for our time. Donate now »

a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Janet A. Baker

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.


©2024 Black Earth Institute. All rights reserved.  |  ISSN# 2327-784X  |  Site Admin