Lyn Lifshin

Photographs of Mothers and Daughters

you can almost always
see the mother's hands

the daughter usually
nests in a curve of
the mother's hair or
neck like it was a cave

the way cats do the
night it starts to snow

Some seem to suck
on the mother's breath.
You might think the
mother had eyes
in her fingers

Often her hands
are on the daughter's
shoulders, pulling
her close, as if

she wanted to press
her back inside

Curling on the Bottom of My Mother's Bed 

as she would
on mine in
different houses,
bring me iced tea
at midnight or
cold chicken we'd
devour with our
fingers after
a date. I don't
think she minded
having to take
my arm in dark
or crossing the
street, a good
reason to touch
me as she does
more freely now
as light in June
starts shriveling.
We whisper to
each other these
past 41 days we
haven't been apart,
like new lovers
who feel what
they have so rare
they can't bear
to sleep apart

Lyn Lifshin has published more than 120 books of poetry, including, most recently, Ballroom (March Street Press), Katrina (Poetic Matrix Press), Barbaro: Beyond Brokenness (Texas Review Press), Desire (World Parade Books), Persephone (Red Hen Press), Another Woman Who Looks Like Me, Following Cold Comfort and Before It's Light  (Black Sparrow Press at David Godine), and The Licorice Daughter: My Year with Ruffian (Texas Review Press).



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