That Month My Mother Begged to Wait with Her in the Dark

By on Mar 31, 2019 in Poetry

Dogwood with red filter

under the blood
red dogwood,
berries crinkly as skin.
My mother whose bed
I’d curl into the
whole year I was
six, woke up
dreaming of fire,
doesn’t want to
be alone. Between
the car and the 
house, shorter than
the hallway to her
blue room where
Otter Creek Falls
licked the window.
She holds onto the
doll, the Lindberg
doll I smashed
in a tantrum. My
mother who’d take
subways at night
all thru Brooklyn
is afraid in the
drive way of Apple
Tree. Don’t leave
she cries like
a child begging
for water she’ll
never drink


Lyn Lifshin has published over 130 books and chapbooks including three from Black Sparrow Press: Cold Comfort, Before It's Light and Another Woman Who Looks Like Me. Before Secretariat: The Red Freak, The Miracle, Lifshin published her prize-winning book about the short-lived beautiful race horse Ruffian, The Licorice Daughter: My Year With Ruffian and Barbaro: Beyond Brokenness. Recent books include Ballroom, All the Poets Who Have Touched Me, Living and Dead. All True, Especially The Lies, Light At the End: The Jesus Poems, Katrina, Mirrors, Persphone, Lost In The Fog, Knife Edge & Absinthe: The Tango Poems . NYQ books published A Girl Goes into The Woods. Also just out: For the Roses, poems after Joni Mitchell and Hitchcock Hotel from Danse Macabre; Secretariat: The Red Freak, The Miracle and Tangled as the Alphabet,-- The Istanbul Poems from NightBallet Press. Just released, as well, Malala, the DVD of Lyn Lifshin: Not Made of Glass. The Marilyn Poems was just released from Rubber Boots Press. An update to her Gale Research Autobiography is out: Lips, Blues, Blue Lace: On The Outside. Also just out is a DVD of the documentary film about her: Lyn Lifshin: Not Made Of Glass. Just out: Femme Eterna and Moving Through Stained Glass: the Maple Poems. Forthcoming: Degas Little Dancer and Winter Poems from Kind of a Hurricane press, Poems and Paintings from Tangerine press and The Silk Road from Night Ballet, Ice Maiden from Transcendent Zero Press