Mom always writes in uppercase
I watch her in repose,
The phone in the nape of her neck still sighing
Like a helpless long-necked rose.
She puts it down through October eyes
And makes her pages take the words
Like tiny kicks in the teeth I watch
Her pen is a provocative sword.
On a dirty kitchen counter one day
Her words watch me with hardened I’s
Sorry for unfinished stories they sigh
Each letter bleeds smooth, not clean but dry.
Why does it feel like a stifled scream hangs
Unannounced above her notes?
She clutched a pen so tight as a girl
Away from the hall and her mother's room
The ringing of a cheek still pinned to the wall
You can still hear it if she closes her eyes
So she writes in all caps
Her final defense
A blue blackened eye dipped in blue black ink
I can feel the marks she’s made.