An Early Winter

dry leavesYou’ve survived the dying of a womb
and the severance of four cords,
cool summers and pale autumns,
and now, as I wipe the ravages of time
dripping from your chin
and kiss the crumbs off your mouth,
I can see the scars
where you must have clawed at your neck,
to peel away layers of withering skin.
You seemed to grow old so gracefully;
but perhaps you knew
winter was coming early
my mother, my child.

Copyright © 2004 Christine Magee • All rights reserved.
Selection from BEFORE THE RAINS COME—Family Matters.