The 2River View 19.1 (Fall 2014)

Teresa Sutton


Burial of the Dead

Brother, brother, grandmother,
mother, she yanks from Dante’s vestibule,
plants in a garden of silence on her lawn.
She looks up from a book,
from her fireplace, to the snow outside
that now covers the corpses.

The voices of the dead
gather beneath the white blanket, then
poke through like tender shoots of beans
or corn. Larkspur springs from blood.
A blue scarf rises from the bottom
of her closet. She wraps it around her neck
in requiem, sits back by the fire.
Her dead, they never seem to stay buried.

Policeman Calls Mom: The Job

Something broke in both of us the day
my son arrived on the scene, first to witness
the hole in a boy’s head and fragments
of skull bone swimming in a red sea.

One word slipped through our phone connection,
like a sharp bone or a hunk of meat lodged
in the line. Drugs, he said, to explain

this other mother’s nightmare. The seventh
seal cracked and Heaven for a space of time,
short but infinite, stayed silent. Then the mother
of the boy with brain chunks strewn across

a Bronx sidewalk grabbed the cop’s arm,
my boy’s arm, shook it and screamed
at him to do something - CPR, whatever
it took. Bent over the fourteen-year-old’s body,

boots in blood, he felt for the pulse he knew

he’d never find, then radioed for a bus to the morgue.
He was right in front of his own apartment,
my son said. Then he trailed off, the mother…

I pictured skeletons, death and his minions,
in a long chain dance circle the mother and my son.

But before the sea beast rises to rule the earth,
before the seventh trumpet sounds,

I want him to knock on every door and ask, not
for an answer, but for a bowl of milk with honey.

Teresa Sutton is a poet and a teacher with two grown children. In addition to her chapbook, They're Gone, her work appears in numerous literary journals including Fourteen Hills , Solstice, and Stone Canoe. website

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