Bright child, bed-headed and tangled
clean cotton-scented, your cry was a call.
I was swinging the garbage over my shoulder,
intent on distributing my burdens and broken cups
with one swift heft into the hollow blue
hopper, empty from yesterday’s pick up—
but bright child, your cry was a song. Mama stop! The cups, but the cups!
And I lay down that kitchen trash-bag,
for shattered dishes were littered about
the driveway though a snag in the hefty bottom.
O abundant refuse from life’s disasters.
This morning, my child—how you tumbled.
Your head blazing the trail, your feet
where your face should of been,
cup and saucer flying, while cocoa
stormed its way across white linen
and so many glittering pieces of wedding-china,
a constellation of accident, predicted the
fault in our love. To forget, I throw it out.
But bright child, your cry
is my sign.
Mama, they glitter in gravel. The pieces like stars, will you chart them?
Lauren K Carlson is a poet and writer, mother and wife living in rural Dawson, Minnesota with her husband and three sons. Her work can be found in, or is forthcoming from Tinder Box, The Windhover, Heron Tree, and Blue Heron Review among others. She produced a series for the web, called “Poems from the Field,” in 2016 with Pioneer Public Television. More at www.laurenkcarlson.com