“My mother is a poem I’ll never be able to write, though everything I write is a poem to my mother.”
Mountain fold, valley fold,
colored paper becomes
tulips, kimonos, shirts and daisies.
My fingers caress the paper
folding laughter, tears,
happiness and heartbreak into each design.
Onto a white, pink, or blue card
I glue them, then
add a note of reassurance and sign my name.
I imagine her turning the key
tearing open the envelope
tears glisten because I am far away.
So, I fold Japanese paper
into helmets, fans, and fish,
pursuing the ritual journey of daughterhood
reshaping my love.
Maralee Gerke lives and writes in Madras, Oregon. She is and avid reader and gardener. She describes herself as a work in progress. Her poems have been published in Calyx, Exit Thirteen, Moonset, Bathtub Gin, Anthology, Nerve Cowboy, Avocet, and Tigers Eye. She has published two books of poems and has had poetry and prose accepted in several anthologies. Her work can be seen online at Shadow Poetry, Long Story Short, and Moontown Café. She recently recorded 4 poems for the Oregon Poetic Voices Project. They can be heard at oregonpoeticvoices.org One of her poems( Refuge) was recently selected to be printed as a limited edition broadside by the Penland School of Crafts.