It looks cold out there, my mother said,
whenever skies went overcast,
forcing us into layers and jackets,
no matter the temperature. I loved
this sweet maternal tick in a woman
whose own life had offered little
in the way of benign comforts. It’s another
Mother’s Day, and she’s still gone. I guess
that’s not going to change. When she felt
stressed, my mother made lists, Things To Do
Today and From The Desk Of scraps littered
the house, some items never crossed.
I think of my own lists, the ones written
between the lines. And when the sky clouds
and it’s warm, I find myself chilled, as if
the way it looked were enough to make it true.
About the Author
Michelle Brooks’ work has been published or is forthcoming in Threepenny Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Iowa Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Natural Bridge, and elsewhere. Her poetry collection, Make Yourself Small, was published by Backwaters Press, and her novella, Dead Girl, Live Boy, was published by Storylandia Press.