while Miss Clemens bent at the sink,
helping Peter Farley wash the paint off his hands.
I scurried across the wide green fields that led
to the road where our row
of white townhouses awaited me.I wanted no more days without my mother
placed in the center of every hour.
I wanted her voice, the scent of the perfume
she dabbed on her wrist each morning
before we watched my father walk away.
We stood at her dresser while she released
the stopper from a crystal bottle so blue
it rivaled sunlight staining the ocean surface.
I wanted to travel with her
from supermarket, to bank, dry cleaners
to drugstore, wherever the days life took her.
As if sensing some hunger to come,
I craved her with a fierceness that made me run,
as if knowing I would soon lose her to a sadness
vaster than any of these fields I could cover
with the pace of my own feet.