Maria Mazziotti Gillan
Snow Falls Thick
outside the windows of Saint Marguerite retreat house.
If only my mother had not died more than 20 years ago, I’d call her,
tell her, my practical, no-nonsense mother, to stop working
long enough to look out into the softening December world,
here in this peaceful place where no sound enters.
Memory, that savvy Trickster, pulls me back
to the 17th Street kitchen with its coal stove
and sweet, bread-baking aroma.
It is 1947. We are having a huge blizzard
and all the windows in our apartment frost over in patterns
that seem to me to be exquisitely beautiful.
My mother gives me a potato fresh from the oven.
I hold the hot potato, its crunchy skin, in my hand,
and I realize how much more my mother offered
when she gave me that warmth to hold in my hands.
Originally published in MER 18 – “Home”
Maria Mazziotti Gillan, American Book Award recipient for All That Lies Between Us (Guernica Editions) and author of twenty-three books, founded the Poetry Center, Paterson, NJ and is editor of the Paterson Literary Review. Appointed a Bartle Professor and Professor Emerita of English and creative writing at Binghamton University-SUNY, recent publications include What Blooms in Winter (NYQ 2016) and the poetry and photography collaboration with Mark Hillringhouse, Paterson Light and Shadow (Serving House Books, 2017).