Measurement Fable

Rusty Morrison

 
like water in water —George Bataille
Eggs, transparent and sometimes red-veined as insect wings, might be hidden
in bark crevices
or a scatter of tawny leaves.
The distance between one gestation and the next, a pleat of the dress I wear
carelessly,
as if I could sew myself another.
Practiced, my tendon-reflex where the tunnel narrows its halo
into a noose. I trust
dexterity as a kind of nourishment, as I believe my own
mother couldn’t.
To own, beauty is the first lie of it, and brief
as incident
is gray
thistles turning silver in sunrise as if for my eyes alone.
I see you surround me, mother, measuring what my exoskeleton
withstands. Embellishment
is thin. When the eye inside blinks, its bone-house splinters. No eye inside sky
but an insect
drone can cause the entire horizon, seasonal
as hindsight
which follows rain. No death
will stop measurement
spiraling out, a long ribbon of salt I must choose repeatedly to cross.
 
Copyright © 2014 by Rusty Morrison. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on January 7, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Poems by This Author

basin of hills... by Rusty Morrison
in the decision of a beginning [3] by Rusty Morrison
No sensation of falling, which suggests that this condition may be flight
only gray rocks with drifting mist... by Rusty Morrison
please advise stop [I might travel his death a creaking and swaying beneath me stop] by Rusty Morrison
I might travel his death a creaking and swaying beneath me stop
please advise stop [I was dragging a ladder slowly over stones stop] by Rusty Morrison
I was dragging a ladder slowly over stones stop
please advise stop [my father's dying makes stairs of every line of text seeming neither to go up or down stop] by Rusty Morrison
my father's dying makes stairs of every line of text seeming neither to go up or down stop
please advise stop [the rustle of a Sunday bundle of newspapers tucked under my father's arm stop] by Rusty Morrison
the rustle of a Sunday bundle of newspapers tucked under my father's arm stop
wind is... by Rusty Morrison


Further Reading

Poems About Mothers
Disciplines [If there is prayer, there is a mother kneeling]
by Dawn Lundy Martin
Kaddish, Part I
by Allen Ginsberg
a woman peeling apples, with a small child
by Pattie McCarthy
Beasts
by Carmen Giménez Smith
Chorus
by Catherine Barnett
Exile
by Alicia Suskin Ostriker
Getting Close
by Victoria Redel
Jugglers
by Francisco Aragón
Lucky
by Tony Hoagland
Mama, Come Back
by Nellie Wong
Metamorphosis
by James Richardson
Mother
by Herman de Coninck
Mother
by Lola Ridge
Mother Ann Tells Lucy What Gave Her Joy
by Arra Lynn Ross
Mother o' Mine
by Rudyard Kipling
Mother's Day
by David Young
My Mother on an Evening in Late Summer
by Mark Strand
My Mother Was No White Dove
by Reginald Shepherd
My Mother Would Be a Falconress
by Robert Duncan
My Mother's Funeral
by Ira Sadoff
Parents
by William Meredith
Picking Up
by Evelyn Duncan
Poems about Motherhood
Postcards
by E. Ethelbert Miller
Postpartum
by Hiromi Itō
Rock Me to Sleep
by Elizabeth Akers Allen
She Leaves Me Again, Six Months Later
by Collier Nogues
The Player Queen
by W. B. Yeats
The Routine Things Around the House
by Stephen Dunn
The Visit
by Jason Shinder
They Call This
by C. K. Williams
To My Mother
by Christina Rossetti
To My Mother
by Robert Louis Stevenson
To My Mother
by Edgar Allan Poe
To My Mother Waiting on 10/01/54
by Teresa Carson
Untitled [A house just like his mother's]
by Gregory Orr
Wedding Cake
by Naomi Shihab Nye
With Child
by Genevieve Taggard
[Sonnets are full of love, and this my tome]
by Christina Rossetti