Here, through sliding glass,
I cup hand to forehead to peer
into the dim living room making certain
the figure that is my mother is still in her chair.
Her head nods with each intake of air in the doze
of dementia. There is no more hiding this from her.
And I inhale smoke deep into my lungs, watch
breath leave body. In relative stillness,
a green acorn lets go of the oak.
Embers & Ashes
Fingers brushing grey from his eyes,
grin spiraling out from the corner of his mouth,
my father inhaled life in the brown draw of nicotine.
Today, I do the same, then find my eyes drawn
to the circular nature of the stain, dark against its filter.
Its smell will cling to me—in my hair, to my lips, my fingertips;
persistent, even when washed away with soap. Some constant
reminder of that which binds us even after death--
the flinging of the cigarette as it hits asphalt,
showers into sparks, & continues its burn.
Tara A. Elliott’s poems have appeared in TAOS Journal of International Poetry & Art, The American Journal of Poetry, Wildness, and Stirring among others. She is the founder and director of Salisbury, Maryland’s Poetry Week and co-chair of the Bay to Ocean Writers Conference. She was recently awarded a fellowship to the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA). For more information, visit www.taraaelliott.com
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.