Gargoyle 10
cover image by Borislav O. Milutinovich
publication date 9/20/1978

For My Mother (1.)

Diane DeVaul

I’ll bring my child
to your grave.
I come as a woman
unable to part
with a child
many times broken
never dead.
It never dies
so I can bury it.
You are the one
who taught me to feed
on the blood
of my child,
feed off its hunger.
I gave no milk
my nipples cracked,
wept blood
and didn’t yield.
The child sucked the air
while it starved.
It lay on the earth
in spring
pulling her warmth out
by the roots
frostbitten from
icy Iowa winters
that howled from my north.
I taught it what you taught me
that death with its
wind borne darkness
and terror
that flies a thousand black wings
in your eyes is more real than life.

This time it is finished
the child and its curse are yours
not mine.
See if the chemistry of its decomposition
can warm your arctic seas.