|Photo by Artyom Kulikov|
His mother kisses my cheek, leaves behind just a smudge
of crimson. I feel the comfort of her green silk dress and I know
why he is so calm. I cling to
the tray of cookies she baked just for me, balancing them
on the tip of my heart and the edge of my smile - it never falters,
not even when the snow is heavy.
She bundles up in her wool scarf and gloves, her knitted hat.
I watch her fingers tremble over each black button of her tattered
winter coat. But it’s her memories that keep her
warm. Back to Little Italy she goes to meet her Sicilian
friends. Amongst candles, Mass and spirit, she will
explain why her son has no bride. Crumbs will fill my lap.
Maybe next year, I will get a sweater.
This poem is featured in the poetry collection Souvenir Boys.