Mother Siege

We balanced piles of stones
on eaves to keep you away
but it did not work.

You still scream through the night,
your voice an alarm
that cuts open the spring.

When you’re quiet we sleep
but dream about you and the times
we filled our hands with things you left.

Maybe she is gone one of us might say,
then to see that you are back in the morning,
meanly turning, taking it in.

We even thought about reflective tape
designed to look like eyes of predators
after the wooden owl had no effect.

And I am ashamed to say that
we’ve begun to talk like they’re all related to you—
the one that swoops to attack near the government office,

the family that shits on the neighbor’s car,
the tiny ones on the wires, the slouchers atop the poles—
to us they are your siblings.

I’ve never joked about rifles before but
we started carrying bricks back from walks,
sharp rocks, hard plastic, discarded hanger hooks

to block your endeavors. Between the trips
I fathom metal spikes—kinds of torture
to make you stop screaming at night.

I know it is a song
as much as a scream but
it melts the walls: let me build.

Still I ran outside and found
myself shrieking, how could you?
In this world—who would try to make a home?

Ode to the Loom

Sweet loom, old friend of an old woman / you are an ancestor she prays to

Two Poems

Before a screw in the rail broke the skin / on my hand as I told my brother not to open / the door for anyone.