Summer 2005

Ellen Doré Watson


Ellen Doré Watson This marks an author's first online publication Ellen Doré Watson's most recent collection is Ladder Music (Alice James Books, 2001), which won the NY/NE Award.  She is director of the Poetry Center at Smith College, poetry editor of The Massachusetts Review, and the translator of many books from Brazilian Portuguese, including The Alphabet in the Park: Selected Poems of Adelia Prado (Wesleyan, 1990)
No Longer Mine    Click to hear in real audio

How many years will my mother go on passing
the anniversary of her subtraction, the day the first
piece of her slipped off into wet grass or got left
in the parking lot like a scarf lost at the end of winter

and not missed until the next? Why mourn the day
my daughter takes possession of her body—mother,
daughter, no longer mine as if they ever were? Who
flipped the switch from wishing to remember to trying

to forget? It's all recorded, each scintilla, memory dozing
until some rasp or whiff heralds its return and leads us
back without our knowing. Brain whorls are funny
that way, forever rearranging us—daughter opening

because she says so, mother a watercolor fading to plain
paper, not because of not remembering but because
her mouth no longer makes words; she lives beneath
her eyelids because she can no longer name the world.



Ellen Doré Watson: Poetry
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