Mama’s Voice

Poem Photograph
Mama’s voice like a thick red ribbon
s t r e t c h e s across the room
and i pretend not to hear
choking on my laughter
my naked feet beat out bare percussion
on the tile
surrounded by the faint applause of beads
jumping and falling
arranged as balanced as a christmas tree
racing and running to nowhere
pursued by nothing but the dull tickle of
and once again i hear the call
like the full sure ring of a church bell
cautiously i approach
as humble as an unsuccessful beggar
with most of the hilarity locked deep in my closet
mama she’s movin’ like a woman with too much
heavy change in her pockets
pickin’ up the baby
wrapped up tight
so he won’t get away
-Beth Wagler-Nicholls