Everyone has a mother somewhere—it seems a safe enough assertion. But there is no mother at dinner with us. And one is left to wonder: What about the mothers of Meetinghouse? What about the evaporated mothers, the disintegrated mothers? What about the cremated mothers, spread and fractured throughout the ocean, through the sea? (The Sea, the Sea.)
I remember very little of my mother. It seems a false comfort to imagine her Somewhere. And like my children, she has never been a guest at my table.
I will admit I do not know what suffering my mother endured. Or where she is hidden so well that I’ll never know the place I cannot find her. But there is one picture that belonged to my father. And since he died it’s belonged to me.
In the frame: an empty vase on a simple rectangular table—We appear to be in the kitchen—a window behind the table; Dusk—I’ve imagined the vase’s color to be blue—a woman sitting at the table’s edge, staring at the vase, her hands blurred; and nothing else on the table.
The last time I looked at that photo it fell apart in my hands, and I spent many hours that day trying to put my mother back together, before I realized too many pieces had already blown out the window, off to sea. (The Sea, the Sea.)
Dante Antonio (@dante_s_antonio) is a musician, writer, and actor based in Brooklyn, NY. He writes plays and poetry, fiction and non, and is spending quite a bit of time these days researching for a novel. He’s also exploring the worlds of microtonal and electronic music (setting some of Eliot’s poetry). You can find his literary work in Sheila-Na-Gig Online, Blue Marble Review, and New Note Poetry.