The Bucket by Alice Teeter
Your mother lives above you on the mountain, around the
whole hillside once and many switchbacks away.
You haven’t seen your mother for years although your
children used to go visit when they were little.
Your youngest girl, the theoretical mathematician, is
the one who figured out the angles and the lengths
and what exactly it would take for your mother
to be able to drop a bucket down the slope
and knock it against your front door.
It was all right when your littlest girl was there to read
the notes and do her bidding, but once the kids
had all left for school or their lives off this mountain
you were left alone with the thump, thump, thump on your door
once or twice a day – always something –
A pinch of salt, the newspaper.
© 2005-2010 Per Contra: The International Journal of the Arts, Literature and Ideas