Mother — I am not missing.
I am not lost. Crow-like
men stole me, a shiny new ring
to hide in their nest of girls.
Mother — Don’t look where trains
drag graffiti from town to town.
Look for a pretty house with blinds
that never open and sullen boys
who mow the yard, but never
fill the empty bird bath.
Mother — Watch for flocks of men,
flying in and out of the house.
Their migrations distract neighbors
from the fluttering fingers wedged
between blind slats, signaling.
Mother — I miss my pink bedroom,
the quilt we made from old dresses,
teddy guarding the night stand. I want
to apologize to my dolls for shelving them
so early when I thought I was too old to play.
Mother — If you are late and I am already
gone, look for me in the backyard. The flowers
will be strangely tall, their colors bright
as screams. Pick a large bouquet.
Hold it in your arms. Carry me home.