The Work of Mothers – Anna Laura Reeve

Mother with Children – Gustav Klimt

A mother has a soul.
A soul needs

to walk uninterrupted down the train
and through each car,

emerging alone at the balcony
of the last car, steel shrieking,

black night opening
suddenly like a blade

or black parachute, sucking loose hats, change,
dust, into it,

divulging nothing. A soul
has seasons.

It practices death and rebirth. Its hair
grows lush,

then sheds; its love fills, then empties;
it dies absolutely

to the ground, but a root persists; or,
even roots wither

in drought, but a seed-case

then shatters—
dropping one seed.

A door slides open. White bones
turn, lightened & expressionless,

to re-enter the last car.

About the Poet

Anna Laura Reeve is a poet living in East Tennessee with her husband, daughter, and heirloom vegetable & native plant gardens. She’s working on her first poetry collection. Previous work of hers has appeared or is forthcoming in The Trumpeter, The Racket, Appalachia Bare, Cutthroat, Fourteen Hills, and others. Read more:

For the first time in nearly five years, Vita Brevis is closed for submission. Read the full story here.

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