his mother in the back yard while the
house burns, asleep maybe,
or maybe in the garden and all of her
black and white smiles aimed so arefully at
the camera’s eye

all of the squinting up into the sun,
shadow of a raised hand across her stranger’s face

thirty years ago, or fifty, a war
just won or another just begun

the highways pure and clean like
the veins of a child

the future written out in books,the
books left behind in cluttered closets

his mother in there somewhere, caught
between those yellowed pages, burying each
of her children, one by one

back to issue