might, in that one instant, have accomplished
what you and that good woman failed
in all these years to do: cramp
me between the temple, hobble
my baby feet.
plunged to her wrist and guided
my baffled head to its first mark. . . .
to the road, kept
the hood secret, kept what it sheathed more
secret still. I opened
it only at night, and with other women
who might be walking the same road to their own
grandma’s house, each with her basket of gifts, her small hood
safe in the same part.
of my heart.
without you. Mother, landscape
of my heart, architect of my body . . .
can I conceive
to make with it
that would reach you . . .