I hear you call for me in the song of the swallows
or the wind threading through branches. Momma
in the rallying bark of neighborhood dogs.
Momma in the footsteps of strangers passing
from leafy streets. To mother means to hear –
sharp as the crack of a bat – your name
always on the tip of my tongue, means
to think without thinking.
I want to say that I am infinitely aware
of you but that isn’t enough. You are an era
whose days are long and years are short.
Everything I was before you was moated
and timbered, secure as stone.
Now my chest is the racket of night—loud
with its cicadas and its pacing.
With distant tires tacking roads, with worry.
You are a cleave, a bedlam of markings
etched on my skin and on every inch of home.
I have become the wind, reluctant at your back.
Casey Knott received an MFA in Creative Writing from Minnesota State University in 2004. Her current work is looking after, teaching, and learning from three remarkable kids and creating an urban farm with her husband on their small acreage. She is an editor for The Wax Paper literary magazine and has had poems published in “Harpur Palate,” “Red Rock Review,” “White Pelican Review,” “Midwest Quarterly,” and more.