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What was love to my mother before she was my mother?

Something scarlet

in the cage of doves, just

a glass of burgundy splashed

on a pale tablecloth, blood stain on the white carpet, a red

bra worn

under a sheer silk blouse. Oh,

I hadn’t even been born, but I

was determined to make her a mother. I pulled

a needle and a thin red thread

smoothly through her, like a vein

and on the satin side of my mother’s heart

I embroidered, Be Mine

and on the black lace, my name.

from Space, In ChainsFind it in the library

Copyright © 2011 Laura Kasischke
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Published in Laura Kasischke Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.