Mourning Morning




My mother’s house surrounds
me in a shroud: the tinkling
of the teaspoon as my father stirs
his tea, his tea; the chug of the washing machine
that never dies. The tubular wind chimes casting
their cool auric spell around us; the complaint
of the floorboards bearing up our lives.
And the busyness, of the birds in bush nearby… I

lie with eyes shucked open, not turning
to what waits to be let in.
I hear the phone shriek—and again—
then footsteps up the hall; the sound
of hesitation at the door—
as I elongate this moment,
try to dwell inside before.


*first published in Bluepepper




23 thoughts on “Mourning Morning

  1. I take that as a great compliment from you, Penelope ~ thank you! Quietly terrifying is the worst/best kind of terrifying in my opinion. And I do find much of life quietly terrifying if I think about it too deeply or for too long! Best not to think, perhaps?

  2. Such an auditory lament, Michele. Love the diction in this one, especially the complaint of the floor boards, shroud, chug, auric. And I keep ruminating as to why you repeated “his tea”–don’t tell me, I like not knowing:)

    Hope you are well. I’m at somewhat of a crossroads with my blog–thinking of taking the next step into writing a novel–feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of such an endeavor, though. We shall see. Thanks for inspiring me with your talent, as always.

  3. Dear Michael,

    Such insightful and supportive comments (as always!) ~ thank you. I WILL tell you about the tea, but only because you already really know: it’s to do with the auditory, which (as you noted) is the sense which drives the poem. When I was a child, my father always stirred his tea for so long that it drove the family crazy, and that memory has stuck with me — I like the sound the words make ~ ‘his tea, his tea’ ~ which are the tinkling sounds the spoon made as it swirled around and around the cup…

    I think that’s a fine idea, you writing a novel! You are a compete natural, and should not doubt yourself. It IS a big endeavour, so of course you feel overwhelmed; but then why not just start putting one word in front of another, and see where you end up? What a fabulous journey that will be, one you won’t want to leave this earth without taking!

    And thank you for inspiring me with YOUR talent!

    Take care.


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