My mother is a moth-eaten she-bear,
behind her wheeled walker she roams back and forth
with lead in our shoes we children
come and visit her,
swimming in her belly
we have long since been deprived of.
All feeding forbidden
the sign next to the cage reminds us,
is stroking not allowed either?
We follow all commands obediently,
we maintain a suitable distance
though I want to cuddle her, when no one’s looking
I’ll cuddle her to death on the sly, or no
I’ll smuggle her out of here, she completely
harmless, she’ll never have to accept
fish again that was left over at the auction
or custard desserts in one of those Duralex plastic cups
doing tricks is over, no more psychologists
at her bedside who with a sneaky smile
ask you what day of the week it is
as if they themselves were senile.
My mother was a blackbird
I’ll take her straight to the garden
where she comes from, blue hortensias are in bloom
she is a hind and leaps over ditches
she’ll once more become the child that picks red berries,
no anti-bedsore mattress needed any more
native soil is so much softer.