by Brian Brodeur
My mother spreads tinsel snow over the kitchen sills,
sets the cedar manger in its place, arranging
the hollow plastic magi next to a cradle
displaying the baby Jesus missing an arm.
The little enameled figure of Mary kneeling
embraces something only she can see. Pinned to the banister,
our crocheted stockings sag. All afternoon
she listens to laundry click in the pantry dryer,
packing layers of chocolate cake and home-made cream
into Tupperware for the Heath-Bar trifle we love.
Light moves across the counter, almost touching her hand,
shattering over an open drawer of knives.
From "Snapshots 1," Other Latitudes (University of Akron Press, 2008).
Used with the author’s permission.