Robin Ekiss

The Question of My Mother

The question of my mother is on the table.

The dark box of her mind is also there,

the garden of everywhere

we used to walk together.


Among the things the body doesn’t know,

it is the dark box I return to most:

fallopian city engrained in memory,

ghost-orchid egg in the arboretum,


hinged lid forever bending back and forth—

open to me, then closed

like the petals of the paper-white narcissus.

What would it take to make a city in me?


Dark arterial streets, neglected ovary

hard as an acorn hidden in its dark box

on the table: Mother, I am

out of my mind, spilling everywhere



“The Question of My Mother” first appeared in Poetry, Vol. 191:2 (November 2007): 123.