Facing Edna

Hugh MacDonald

In one photo
beside the aging Nash,
Amos dreams Bogey--
Edna, dark-haired Bergman,
dark coat collared in mink
lean girl-legs rise
above mink-topped boots
beautiful starry-eyed child-bride.
Behind, a weathered barn
breeding stock securely stabled.
A vision of romance
bound in silver bromide crystals
one lifetime ago.
In this silent room on the fifth floor
of the Sacred Heart Home
birthday cards she cannot read 
--from three of her eighteen children
two likely handmade by grandchildren who never
                                knew her,
one from a computer in Veteran's Affairs--
rosaries bind the Virgin Mary's arms
she stands bejewelled in decanded chains
card-covered dresser her cluttered grotto
facing Edna with ice-blue plaster orbs.
Edna's fading eyes move furtively
a shiver runs the slope of her soft remains
denies the woolen layers on her bed
mouth makes silent pantomime of speech.
They prop her in her Lay-Z-boy
push Junior Peas through useless lips
give dull-witted answers to dull-witted questions
fill the holes in the empty air.
My eyes seek out the photo
she with Amos so young and full of hope
in her cinematographic youth
dream that I can bend time
rescue her from that snapshot
alive and blissful
and not a moment too soon.

Copyright © 1996 Hugh MacDonald
Used with permisson of the author.
From Looking for Mother, by Hugh MacDonald.
Windsor, Ontario, Canada: Black Moss Press, 1995.
(Dist. by Firefly Books, Ltd. Sparks Ave., Willowdale, Ontario M2H2S4
ISBN 0-88753-259-4 ISBN 0-88753-255-1 $14.95)
Email Hugh at
Hugh's Home Address:
Hollow Pine Cottage, Robertson Road,
Montague RR#5 PEI Canada, C0A 1R0

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