Dig

It’s been around 20 years, give or take,

since I’ve had any sort of contact with my mother,

and I still don’t miss her,

still don’t miss her hands,

still don’t miss the sound of her voice.

I’m a man now, a man with friends

and his own apartment,

a man who got divorced and recovered,

and who’s only guilt reflects that of being a survivor,

since pretty much everybody in my family

has either died or I’ve estranged for

mental health reasons.

I don’t regret not seeing my mother all this time,

her dark brown ringlet hair like mine

doesn’t try to devour me while I’m sleeping,

and it’s been a lifetime since she kicked me

with my back turned and my eyes

marching forward

like a prisoner of war.

Tonight, or is it this morning,

I’m just hanging in the living room

in a dirty t-shirt and boxer briefs, watching

television at one in the morning,

still not showered, a pint of vanilla ice cream

in my lap, and I’m spooning it right out of

the damn carton with an extra-large spoon,

not one of those dinky spoons you’re made

to use because you’re told if you eat too much

something bad is going to happen

by a beast who spends most of her time

growling into a coffee mug of cheap wine

that mine as well be your blood,

but one of those really friggin long and deep

metal spoons you could practically dig a hole

and bury something with.

Author: Chris Russell

Chris Russell holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives in Concord, New Hampshire where he follows two paths: a calling as a poet, and an altruistic vocation as an education support professional.