Newly Discovered Portrait of My Mother with Ocotillo and Grapefruit
by Donna Prinzmetal
published in The Midnight Oil, Volume 1
In the desert my young mother stands in profile next to her own shadow– porcelain neck, dark glamorous hair, red blossoms on the tips of ocotillo.
Last night I was a barn owl, those long diagonal eye slits chiseled into my heart-shaped face.
After years of collecting the soft moans of strangers, my mouth is hollow possessed by all the lost words.
From the white wall, my mother’s hair blinks back the blinding light. She is looking away from me.
Before my body froze I was always smoldering in the astonished sunlight where grapefruits thump from their lofty perches, yellow skin rising about the grass.
In another picture, my young mother is laughing from a porch swing. Even in black and white, I can see the plump red lips, the hibiscus in her hair.