My mother sleeps in sheets
then wakes up sweaty needing me,
the foreboding gray haze thick
until I switch on the big light
so she can see my face. This kind
of winter becomes monthly, daily
and I do not know how to be
the thing my mother needs.
It is said all mothers inherit
the sorrow of Demeter:
3,000 years of seasonal death
relived and packed into mitosis,
what exhaustion. I have no concept
of eternal suffering except for what
my mother feels in her bones,
I can’t imagine the bed without her
in it nor the desert where she built
our house alone. Oh Eternal Mother
let me let her rest let me not
call her back with thunder.
from Sugar WorkFind more by Katie Marya at the library
Copyright © 2022 Katie Marya
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.