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Marly Youmans

Something Like a Memory

I am sitting on my mother's lap.
In all the villages and towns, counties
And states and nations of the world, in all
The universe, it is the only safe.
You're there, white tinged with blue like watered milk.
The ink seed planted in your brain in life
Has flowered, stem looping above your head
And the blossom, like a peony, arched
Open, soon to shatter into pieces.
Father's ranting against the feral world
That took you from us, world where he will not
Kneel for authority, where he will not
Bow to anything until the body
Is bent and soul flings off like an arrow.
You have blossomed. You understand the thing
We cannot. Safe in arms, I dream just this:
To nestle in the flower on the stem
That snakes in arabesques above your mind.

—Marly Youmans

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