Mar 29 2017

For My Mother Louise

July 4th, 1936- March 28, 2017

The Omen (must be) from the Great Blue Heron in my Backyard

My mother says it must be an omen, but of what, she doesn’t know.
Terminal cancer, she’s become a shaman of what’s between the sea and the landing.

We’re binge-watching Breaking Bad. “All doctors want us to radiate.”
“Fade away and radiate,” a Blondie song from the 80s pipes through my head.

She’s home now, not a metaphor, but a three hours drive from here
into a polluted wasteland of petroleum, pesticides and tumbleweeds.

A place where a great blue heron would never live, only migrate through.
My house is on a creek that trickles–sometimes torrents–to the ocean’s maw.

Now it’s meandering. The bathymetry has changed since last year:
two trees fell in my yard, on Easter a spruce crashed the trellis, shaved the cherry.

When the cottonwood smashed the tea roses, they were un-thwarted.
Lots of light now, more birds. The house finches returned: a nest in the barbeque:

the Steller’s jays returned; a nest in the bottle brush, not their usual stupid choice
of the patio umbrella, though they did leave a few twigs there for their gods.

And the great blue heron, a first time visitor.
A portent. “An omen,” she says.

The heron, who suffers no fool, flies past my line of vision, to the sea.
Great sweeps of wing close enough to tease a strand of hair from my face.

Over my shoulder a shudder of air as all the mourning doves tear out
of the sycamore, a sound like the gods’ shrill laughter, a chilling sound.

“An omen,” she says. There is a nest I built inside myself on a rocky perch. To love is to borrow a future sorrow made of sticks and hair and spit.


8 Responses to For My Mother Louise
  1. ZD says:

    Rest In Peace Louise. This is such a beautiful piece for her. ❤️

  2. Amy Davis says:

    i am here when you can talk.

  3. Stew-bob says:

    Good Grief Mari-Brown. . . . .
    Some many tears here. Much awe at your words. Respect to your Mommie. Loved her. Barely knew her. Had a crush on you and her at the same time – back when the world was young. If that’s even possible: You And Her. And that the world was ever young. Sadly / Happily, both are true. Thalia / Malibu too. . . . . My condolences friend. √

  4. Jamie says:

    Maria. This is so beautiful. I am so sorry for your loss.

  5. Ric Cedergren says:

    This is beautiful. What an amazing gift. A lot of sticks and hair and spit and too much sorrow. Beautiful.

  6. Bill and Adrienne says:

    A sign. I had one and many others I know. The universe does talk to us and our family connects separate from our usual communication.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  7. Robin says:

    This was beautiful. I met your Mom so briefly but KNEW…just KNEW she would have been a dear friend if we had only had the right time and the right events…. Much love to you,
    Robin Mitchell

  8. Matt Brandon says:

    Moving. Love this last line, “To love is to borrow a future sorrow made of sticks and hair and spit.” So true.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *