The music of what happens

Today is my mother’s birthday. She would be 106. She died when she was 95.

Here is a poem from my book Vexed Questions:

The Music of What Happens

Vinegar and rust,

from whose body did you come?

Something friable,


meets fantastic

meets a static victim

standing there,

waiting for the bullet to hit the orange.

Startled, baffled

by the Catbird’s cry

the politician with cache

with carte blanche,

turns into a

cadging codger.


the great Horned Owl

calls across the hay dry meadow in

the parkland in the dark

of four am,

who summoned me?

In her bedroom in early October

Toward midnight,

sitting up to breathe better,

propped up like a woman in labor

looking in through the gate of eternity,

 my mother spreads her arms ,

shoulders squared to meet God.

Art by Tonya Engel

Published by ahiggins2013

poet, birder, senior citizen, cancer survivor, Catholic sister. Eight books of poetry published: At the Year’s Elbow, Mellen Poetry Press 2000; Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky, Plain View Press 2007; chapbooks: Pick It Up and Read, Finishing Line Press 2008, How the Hand Behaves, Finishing Line Press 2009, Digging for God, Wipf and Stock 2010, Vexed Questions, Aldrich Press 2013, Reconnaissance, Texture Press 2014, and Life List, Finishing Line Press, 2015.

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