Poem: terese v. gagnon
What Mom Said the Night She was a Rebel & Sat Outside St. Mark’s and Washed her Own Damn Feet
Drink away your sorrows, she said
I don’t think I’ll ever become
Not because I didn’t want to
Mind you (like running track)
No, not because of that.
All that time, the slant of light on red carpet
The beauty of the crabapple trees
Was too much.
Like I said,
It’s not that I don’t want to join you
But you need to learn
To wash your own God, damn feet.
(And alone to the hot bleary stars she said
she wasn’t even a tiny bit sorry.)
At the door, at the edge of the light
In my goose bumps and white short sleeves
Afraid of her power, of my own.
Her back turned, facing outward
Mama, are you Ok? Mama?
about the writer: terese gagnon
Terese Gagnon is a PhD candidate in anthropology at Syracuse University. She often combines her work in cultural anthropology with her love of verse through ethnographic poetry.