The Blog

Lady

My friend’s mother gropes a metal grocery cart,
yells at sidewalks, flails her broad arms to the moon.
They tell him she talks to waves—
he waits for the breaking
of her dissonance.

My friend loves a girl but can never
have her home for dinner;
the quiet of family wrestles in his mother’s brain—
she rocks at the kitchen table,
legs crossed, right foot numb from blunt stamping
until the noise is all she feels.
She takes to the streets,
salvaging small, coarse garbage,
cart-worthy shards of brown glass.
“The river’s skin,” she repeats to damp air.

His mother twists her face with the wind,
steps forward and backward five times,
stops to suck the rain:
chin up, lips pucker, eyes close and breathes.
My friend loves rain—
cool layers clean his deep river cuts.
When the bottom drags him in,
the quiet tends.

Published with permission by the author. “Lady” previously appeared in Blue Earth Review (Spring 2010 print issue).

Photo by Simon Clarke

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Theresa Senato Edwards is founder, editor and publisher of Holly Rose Review. She has poems published online at Pirene’’s Fountain: A Journal of Poetry, and forthcoming at Touch: The Journal of Healing. Other poems appear in the 2010 print anthology of Boxcar Poetry Review, the 2008 print anthology of CircleShow (SevenCircle Press), and online at Stirring, Press 1, decomP, Clean Sheets, Chronogram, and elsewhere. Edwards seeks a home for her first poetry manuscript, Voices Through Skin, from which the poem, “Lady”, is taken. She also is working with Lori Schreiner on a collaboration of work that can be found online at AdmitTwo, Autumn Sky Poetry, and elimae, an electronic literary magazine. Her third book of poetry, tentatively titled, Sister Sequence, is a work in progress. When she’s not busy writing poetry, Edwards teaches literature and tutors writing at Marist College.

[Poetry Break Editor Note]

42 Awesome Comments So Far

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  1. Susan Heinlein
    June 23, 2010 at 3:49 pm #

    Fabulous Teresa. I know a thing about the mentally ill, and you beautifully captured the pain, loss and confusion that they must feel. Brava!

    SH

    • Theresa Senato Edwar
      June 23, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

      Thank you so much for reading, Susan, and I hope you are well.

      Theresa

  2. Jayne Pupek
    June 23, 2010 at 4:08 pm #

    I admire the way you have married imagery from nature with life on the streets. Wonderful work!

    • Theresa Senato Edwar
      June 24, 2010 at 1:38 am #

      Thank you so much for reading, Jayne. And I'm so glad our paths have met because of poetry and Holly Rose Review!

      Theresa

  3. Lane
    June 23, 2010 at 4:13 pm #

    Theresa,

    I love this poem. The images are so visceral to me, especially "stops to suck the rain." It's a beautiful portrait poem, as well.

    I love you, TT!!!

    • Theresa Senato Edwar
      June 24, 2010 at 1:39 am #

      Thank you, Lane, and love you, too! Friends in Life ~ Friends in Poetry.

      Theresa

      • Lane
        June 24, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

        Friends in Life ~ Friends in Poetry 🙂

  4. Mike Finley
    June 23, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    What powerful, mysterious portraits — of both your friend and his mother.

    • Theresa Senato Edwar
      June 24, 2010 at 1:40 am #

      Thank you for reading, Mike. And I hope you are hanging in there!

      Theresa

  5. Thomas Griffin
    June 23, 2010 at 6:10 pm #

    I can hear the thumping, squeaking wheel of the cart: a sound (and two people) at once familiar and dissonant. Terrific!

    • Theresa Senato Edwar
      June 24, 2010 at 1:41 am #

      Thank you so very much, Thomas!

      Theresa

  6. Rhonda Palmer
    June 23, 2010 at 6:39 pm #

    Glad to see this published–it's a powerful description of the hard, almost impossible work of loving someone with a mental illness. I love the water imagery–that river bottom feels cool and clean and permanent. Good writing!

    • Theresa Senato Edwar
      June 24, 2010 at 1:45 am #

      Thanks so much, Rhonda; the river bottom is one of those paradoxical places, isn't it???

      So glad that our paths, as well, have met because of poetry and Holly Rose Review!

      Theresa

  7. Jeannine Garant
    June 24, 2010 at 4:03 am #

    How talented and gifted you are! More! Where is your book? Such God inspired work! You and your poems are heaven sent…..Jeannine

    • Jeannine Garant
      June 24, 2010 at 4:49 am #

      Neenie,

      Thank you so much for all your love and support of both me and my writing!

      Theresa

      • Theresa Senato Edwar
        June 24, 2010 at 5:01 am #

        Here I go with my own info:

        Neenie,

        Thank you so much for all your love and support of both me and my writing!

        Theresa

        ps–and, i know, because you're so busy, i'm glad you took the time to comment, even if it was on my own computer! love ya!

  8. Tzynya Pinchback
    June 24, 2010 at 4:17 am #

    Brilliant the way this poem reaches out, then recoils into itself. Stark and unyielding imagery, and beautiful.

    • Jeannine Garant
      June 24, 2010 at 4:52 am #

      Tzynya,

      Thanks so very much for reading, appreciate your own reaching out!

      Theresa

    • Theresa Senato Edwar
      June 24, 2010 at 4:59 am #

      Oops….

      So my wonderful friend responded on my computer, and I forgot to change her info to mine. Sorry….here we go again:

      Tzynya,

      Thanks so very much for reading, appreciate your own reaching out!

      Theresa

  9. Erik Johnke
    June 24, 2010 at 4:40 am #

    Theresa,

    Wonderful, touching poem, and of course, so well crafted!

    • Jeannine Garant
      June 24, 2010 at 4:55 am #

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting, Eric. I hope you and yours are well. It's been quite some time since Goddard!

      Theresa

    • Theresa Senato Edwar
      June 24, 2010 at 4:57 am #

      Oops….

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting, Eric. I hope you and yours are well. It’s been quite some time since Goddard!

      Theresa

  10. Mitch Burkowsky
    June 24, 2010 at 7:07 am #

    Wonderful poem Theresa! Very moving!

    • Theresa Senato Edwar
      June 24, 2010 at 7:28 am #

      Wow, Mitch! Thanks so much for reading my poem. Hope all is well.

      Theresa

  11. Karen
    June 24, 2010 at 1:47 pm #

    Such a beautiful poem and captures the sadness of the situation. So perfectly crafted. Lovely.

    • Theresa Senato Edwards
      June 24, 2010 at 5:29 pm #

      Thanks so much for reading, Karen, appreciate your comments.

  12. Kathi Ryan
    June 24, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

    What a beautiful poem. I love reading the things that you write. I'm lucky that I can spell let alone write poetry!!!!

    • Theresa Senato Edwards
      June 24, 2010 at 8:26 pm #

      You spell just fine! Thanks for reading and commenting on my poem. Love ya!

  13. Jan Taylor
    June 25, 2010 at 7:46 am #

    ‘Love the compassion in this poem, which reveals an unexpected beauty.

  14. Theresa Senato Edwards
    June 25, 2010 at 9:21 am #

    Thank you very much for reading, Jan. And forgive me for asking, but do we know each other from Goddard, as I see you have a Goddard e-mail? I’m so sorry that I don’t recognize your name, but I so appreciate your comment to my poem.

    Theresa

  15. Christine
    June 25, 2010 at 11:41 am #

    Theresa,

    This poem is ridiculously beautiful and wrenching, both. Gorgeous work.

    • Theresa Senato Edwards
      June 26, 2010 at 7:14 am #

      Christine,

      Thank you, as always, for reading my work and for all that you do for poetry. I’m grateful…

      Theresa

  16. Stephen Bunch
    June 25, 2010 at 11:59 am #

    I was thrown by what reads as faulty parallelism in S3L4. It was hard for me to get back on track after that. For what it's worth, as they say.

    • Theresa Senato Edwar
      June 26, 2010 at 2:11 am #

      And yet, there you were at the end of the poem. Sorry you weren't able to get back on track, but I thank you for reading.

      Theresa

  17. Ainslee Doyle
    June 26, 2010 at 8:06 am #

    That was great Theresa! I’m glad I got to read a piece of you poetry, very touching.

    • Theresa Senato Edwar
      June 26, 2010 at 4:16 am #

      And I'm glad you got a chance to read the poem, Ains! Thanks so much.

      Theresa

  18. Faye DiLeo
    June 27, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

    Great one Tess, very powerful and moving. Keep it up! Looking forward to reading Sister Sequence!

    • Theresa Senato Edwar
      June 27, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

      Thanks very much for reading and commenting, Faye. "Sister Sequence" is a bit more experimental, so we'll see what evolves from that process.

      Love ya!

      Theresa

  19. Donnelle McGee
    July 7, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    Theresa,

    A beautiful read . . . I'm waiting to pick up and hold your first book in my hands . . .

    onward,

    Donnelle

  20. Theresa Senato Edwar
    July 7, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    Thanks so much, D. Maybe some day with the first book, and yours too!

    Yep, onward…

    Theresa

  21. Carol Thomas
    July 9, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    Theresa –
    Wonderful imagery. I love the raw feeling of the poem. Someone knows the pain of those mothers. That was my grandmother.
    Very nice.

    Carol Thomas

  22. Theresa Senato Edwards
    July 10, 2010 at 6:25 am #

    Carol,

    Thanks so much for reading and for commenting. I hope you are well; it’s been quite some time since Goddard!

    Theresa