Friday, 3 January 2020

My Maternal Grammar

                                                          by Barbara Rockman

is derived from decorum,
its formal syntax
spare and only
occasionally spontaneous.

Inherited mother tongue
of simple but elegant,
the Shaker chair,
Japanese arrangement,
chamber music and

the classic line, matching
shoes, the understated
and asexual; at all costs,
curb vanity and her kin,

so life became the pursuit
of slang and cleavage,
Bohemian boudoir,
dark bars with dancing––

who cares  so what
no one’s watching bliss
I’d die to be fluent in.

* * * * *

"My Maternal Grammar" was first published in Bellingham Review and is now in Barbara Rockman's collection to cleave.

Barbara Rockman is the author of Sting and Nest, winner of the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, and to cleave (University of New Mexico Press, 2019). She teaches writing at Santa Fe Community College and at Esperanza Shelter for Battered Families. Raised in western Massachusetts, she now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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