Birth Mother’s Mixed Messages

The mustached nun wraps you
in her scarf, holds you
out the window, and you
struggle as someone laughs.

I laugh like someone yawned.
“Drop it in the garden,”
I say, “let it blossom.”
Don’t listen. Read my mind –

“My falling child, forget.
Learn to make your stories
from others’ memories.
Please, don’t remember me.

Assume there’s always hate,
learn you’ll never love, live
in want of suicide.
Don’t make a story end.”

Tom Holmes is the founding editor of Redactions: Poetry & Poetics, and author of three full-length collections of poetry, most recently The Cave, which won The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award for 2013, as well as four chapbooks. His writings about wine, poetry book reviews, and poetry can be found at his blog, The Line Break. Follow him on Twitter: @TheLineBreak

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