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Poetry by Peter Cooley

For my Sister on Mother's Day

In your shuttered apartment at the nursing home
this day will pass you by, never a mother
and now, at sixty-nine, still only a daughter
to her mother, ninety-three you choose not to see
or telephone today, a floor above you, blind, alone
until my call, except for Dad beside her, her only light.

Years it took me to escape into a light--
starlight, sunlight--of my own, a home
with wife and children you despise, alone
in your womb-tomb, fixed on Mother,
nit-picking your hate. What do you see
yourself to be but a childless child daughter

despising her brother ten years younger for his daughters,
despising her parents that he saw the light
when she hungered her first decade only to see
her parents around her in their enormous house
as she threw her growing body on her mother
until I was born and she wasn't alone

with Mommy and Daddy so starved herself, alone
that she be small and still their precious baby daughter,
not a sister now but an only child to Mother
she despised just for bringing me to light.
Still, even before I came to shade her home
she longed desperately to leave and never see

her parents and yet to stay forever, see-
ing herself imprisoned, a fallen queen, alone
as if clinging to them made the house a home
where she could be post and lintel, daughter
never going or coming, some Godhead made from light,
holy herself, reflecting her own mother

but wombed in herself, fatherless, without a mother,
divine, a holy ghost she'd never have to see
because a part of her tripartite being, a light
from light conceived and born herself alone
beyond human realm, never a daughter
but supreme in her Godhead she called home,

Mother Satan, eighty-four pounds alone,
free to see herself a parthenogenesis daughter,
enlightening darkness, herself her hell, her home.

 

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