My mother hangs out wash in mountain
A believer in wind, she nods to the
white shirts, polka-dot dress, printed
pajamas purged of infant milk.
Now I live present and past together
make paper hats out of headlines
scratch hopscotch on sidewalks
hear “sticks and stones” through drift
She neatly slices hot dog and bun
pulls a cake from the oven
clasps my cold hands in her warmth
laughs when I jump away like a frog
catches me, under the faucet scrubs back
She knows how to do things, has the sum
of all details
more than her ten fingers and toes.
I sing to my children
lullabies behind her voice.
Gabriel is a walker in the Hudson Valley
and a catboat sailor on Cape Cod. Her
poetry has most recently appeared in New
Verse News, Time of Singing, Apple
Valley Review, Ancient Heart and in
Inside Cape Cod.