A Mother Confessing
I was wrong when I said your voice carried me
away. Listening to you was nothing like travel,
nothing like getting lost. Those mornings as you sang
What language shall I borrow to thank Thee? I imagined
you there at the piano reciting
directions to a warm blue lake.
But I never wanted to go.
Now I see your voice instead
as hands that held me
where I stood rinsing the breakfast dishes, your song
a cold rivulet, I’ll say, with a gray crane,
soft and unsure.
Teeth and Feathers
My grandfather drank half a bottle of Jack Daniel’s
the day he had all his top teeth pulled.
The next week he drank the other half, had his bottom teeth pulled.
He never got dentures, and the man could eat a carrot.
When he died, you could see white beneath his thin gums.
I’d never thought about the bone there, or his macaw
shelling peanuts for him in the evenings, reminding him Johnny Carson’s on, Pa,
her cry and her shrill, blue wings spreading
even after he’d gone.
Diana Reaves grew up in the southern piedmont of Alabama, along the banks of the Chattahoochee River. She attends the University of Arkansas as an MFA candidate in poetry writing. Her poems have appeared in Boxcar Poetry Review and Tar River Poetry. contact