All night long, black moths
shattered my bed with their bodies.
I see your shape in the hallway
growing from my gnawed
fingernails, bowing toward the earth.
Who am I to honor you, Mother?
Bring in your dog, sit by the fire.
I have wine cooling in the bucket,
bread and cheese on the table.
Your scythe drags its shadow
over the threshold
like an unwanted child.
The slippery blade curves
under the burden. I recognize my fear
in the throaty croak of a rooster.
First published in Poetry South, Issue 11, 2019 (print edition only)