Basement

I’m sure if she’d ever written it
Mom’s novel would have been something.

She was never unhappy
teaching young women
the highly moral art of journalism,
but she always talked about unleashing
something more.

She collected books
discreetly, in boxes
between the furnace
and the dehumidifier.
Sociology, anthropology, first-
person accounts from survivors
of wars we’d never heard of.
Always threatening one day
she’d have the time
to start a fire in the basement
of our culture
that couldn’t be fought.

How could we have known
what our mother started down here
would only finish a story
our father had begun?

Added: February 19, 2013 | Last changed: June 7, 2014