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Mum

by Maria Claire Leng


I rode to Blood Farm with my mum to gather the lambs. We held them in our arms, the size of rocks, heavy as oblongs. When I asked how they killed the animals, she told me they shot them once, with a gun. But these shots were only imagined, as no one in my family could say they saw one of our lambs shot. She explained the cycle of life and dependence. Outside, I studied Gabriel, our ram, who mounted ewes in diagonal, like a frequented bookcase. Mum collected me in winter for the birthing of twin lambs, though commotion dissuaded the second lamb from standing. So, near the piano Mum lifted the weight of the metronome and unfolded: But for the Lamb of Jesus. I dissented with whole notes in alto until she harmonized soprano to teach a duet. How I marveled at the red and blue balls, the silken sac: the placenta distending winter on the rail of a standing stall.

 

Maria Claire Leng holds an MFA from Bennington College, where she was the first Jane Kenyon Scholar in Poetry. Her poems have appeared in Grand Street, The Best of Pif Magazine: Off-Line, Cortland Review, and in the online Web del Sol. (12/2005) 


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