Breath & Shadow
Winter 2009 - Vol. 6, Issue 1
"A Note From My Mother" and "Waiting For Word: On My Mother's Heart Attack"
Stephanie De Haven
"A Note from My Mother"
Your birth was the birth of an idea born squirming
and red--but silent--with hair like blood in water and brass
attitudes. My sweet child, who I pushed into this world wet and
precious--my red pearl--I know you. You will grow into a squirming
toddler, a red child, and finally, a silent adolescent. Adulthood is the
loom--empty, waiting for creation--I know. Everything is empty as your
newborn stomach. Everything blank as your sweet face. I created you-and
you, child, are blank. That is why I plunged you into the water basin
by my bed until you died.
"Waiting for Word - My Mother's Heart Attack"
A dandelion in glass,
suspended-I wait-for distended breath to scatter-to shatter-stagger
breaths in beads of shine sliding through that thick medium-choking on
fluff, on white nothing. I wait for nothing-pale death on pale
horse-puffy-faced dandelion. I wait for breath-for long, dry drags that
smell of plastic and ether-seasoned with beta-blockers-crusted with
aspirin, as antiseptic and fresh as hospital linens, and colorless
as death clock dandelion.
Stephanie De Haven lives and teaches in Lafayette, Louisiana. She attained her Master's degree in Creative Writing at the University of Texas, home of the World's Most Edible Mascot. She writes to medicate her seizures and her soul.