My Mother’s Pen

9.29.18

In the back of the drawer,
my mother’s pen.
Gold, with her name on it.
Mislaid in darkness
for how many years?

I hold it in my hand
until it warms.
But when I try to write
the ink is dry.
No words come.

Still, in the silence
of this anniversary
veiling the day,
arriving each year
like a soundless caisson,

…..memory constructs a picture —
…..her hand holding the pen,
…..her eyes alert as she
…..looks up at me, unhappy
…..at interruption —

I stand it upright
on my desk in a clear jar
where the morning light
will pour in, strike it.
For now all I can do is remember.

Elizabeth Spires

Elizabeth Spires

Elizabeth Spires's latest poetry collection, A Memory of the Future, was included in The New York Times's Best Poetry of 2018 list.Her other books include Globe, Swan's Island, Annonciade, Worldling, Now the Green Blade Rises, and The Wave-Maker.

She lives in Baltimore and holds a Chair for Distinguished Achievement at Goucher College.
Elizabeth Spires

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Author: Elizabeth Spires

Elizabeth Spires's latest poetry collection, A Memory of the Future, was included in The New York Times's Best Poetry of 2018 list. Her other books include Globe, Swan's Island, Annonciade, Worldling, Now the Green Blade Rises, and The Wave-Maker. She lives in Baltimore and holds a Chair for Distinguished Achievement at Goucher College.