She twirls en point around tables in Café Bleu
placing a cup, a croissant mid step, another
plate-stacked in Ponti’s, curtsies the kitchen
door, a girl drops fries and sunnyside eggs
in front of a cop on 2nd and Main, the one in
The Catfish Place in Poulsbo who ate a horse hoof
in Chechnya to say alive, Tilsi in Joe’s who fled
a looted Kabul window and bloodied apron,
Tara in Sam’s leans on a wall turning
her shoe on a fag end.

They are legions of mothers offering surrogate
suckling, serving comfort, ersatz hugs, tesht,
I say to the one at my table ruffling my hair,
labas to her friend pinching my cheek,

others are grinning, gathering, as if lit from
above, surrounding me, clapping as I cross the
road to Fellicci’s and more mothers, lovers,
wives, Maria, Agniezka, Roksana…

Ken Champion

If you have any comments on this poem,  Ken Champion would be pleased to hear them.