Peeping Toms by Carolyn Srygley-Moore

i hear someone calling Mommy. a child, an adult, i cannot say. pay it forward, the seller tells me, dropping charges for the greyhound bust, detailed, i am giving my brother.

Mommy! an arc almost husked, like Indian corn, ethereal & inedible.

i am counting down like the countdown of Major Tom, of the shuttle’s delirious advent. each birthday is a victory, but do i want the challenge? i lay down the fencing sword.

over my shoulder, peeping through my windows, first story apartment, where the yellow eyed black cat named after a squirrel comes & goes: the term of endearment,

is that my husband’s voice, my daughter’s; is that the howl of my dog on the pissed bank, the tracks like moon shadows leading away?

pay it forward; i do. the twenty comes in a blank card, unsigned. i stuff it into another envelope, a business envelope, with no letter head. Mommy

i cry, & she does not remember me, somewhat, she recalls my laugh, jagged as a bad swimmer’s kick, thunk thump, she cries Mommy

for the grandmother i never met, the grandmother that is her yellow violin-hollow snapped string home.

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