After the Funeral

by Rasma Haidri

The moon, dumb
      as a stone in winter,
pulls like a tide,
      making me look
up, when I want
      to look away,
making me stop,
      when I want to breathe
my own breath again,
      tuck my soul back —
startling me
      like a naked breast,
pearly as
      the porcelain doorknob
in my mother’s house,
      where the blinds
stayed shut.
      Now the empyrean drapes
are thrown open,
      exposing me
to the moon’s
      glaring interrogation:
Where did she go?
      I wonder if she
hunkers just
      on the shadow side —

Mom, the moon
      haunts and taunts
me —
      Mom,
the moon
      is cruel
to me —
      Mom?
The sky
      has never been this empty.

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Rasma Haidri grew up in Tennessee and makes her home on the Arctic seacoast of Norway where she teaches English and does Reiki and stained glass. Her poems and essays can be found in anthologies by, among others, Puddinghouse, Seal Press, Bayeux Arts, Marion Street Press, The Chicago Review Press and Grayson Books; and in literary journals including Sycamore Review, Nimrod, Prairie Schooner, Passages North, Runes, Kalliope and I-70 Review. Her most recent poetry is forthcoming in, Veils, Halos and Shackles: International Poetry on the Abuse and Oppression of Women and Songs for a Passbook Torch: Poems about Nelson Mandela. Distinctions for her writing include the Southern Women Writers Association Emerging Writer Award in creative non-fiction, and the Wisconsin Academy of Arts, Letters & Science Poetry Award. She is the author of three textbooks and is currently at work on a full-length poetry manuscript, a manual for meditative writing and a non-fiction children’s book about the Blackfoot people. More about her work can be found at www.rasma.org.

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