Upstream
My mother was like a salmon in the wrong brook.
She took random events as signals from deep space.
In her search for the higher clarities, shade were drawn,
incense was burned, blankets were tacked to window frames.
We were always waiting for the real sun to start shining.

I believe in magic, too, but not enough to count on.
She would have these red visions that made us
move frequently, dressed always in earth colors,
eating lettuce with the dirt still clinging to it.
When I was bad, she said we were going to Haiti.

Some lives never seem to fortify each other.
I was born the year my mother lost a front tooth.
She said my toddling had ruined her future in dance.
Is there a point in life where you take a turn
and everything is scrambled after that?

Although neither of us could read fast, in pursuit
of advanced ideas we never turned away
from a lunatic in the park. We were a mugger's dream.
I don't think you can blame parents for the weirdness of their kids.
She likes cats. I wanted to be a woman with a poodle.

Julie Lechevsky