BLESSING ONE: BLESS ME
by Sherine Elise Gilmour
I have a mother who once said car, lake,
who said, I couldn’t stand holding
your sticky hands any longer,
who said, I found a lake deep enough.
I am blessing myself on the phone
with the life insurance company.
I am blessing myself listening
to Muzak. I am blessing myself
because I have a mother who
bought a life insurance policy on my
wee head, because I have a mother
who made herself beneficiary.
She told me the ways she thought
I could die: top of stairs, quick fling
of small body. The road, how easy
to leave me behind.
And I am blessing myself speaking
to the customer service representative,
blessing myself at the notary public,
faxing over documents. And I am blessing
myself at the post office, licking
the stamp. Bless me. Bless my white matter,
my skull not cracked. My neck never broke,
my lung sacs full of air. I am blessing myself
because she has not. I am blessing
myself because who else will? I am blessing
myself because, most nights, I still want to be held
by a mother, and that never goes away.
Sherine Elise Gilmour graduated with an MFA in Poetry from New York University. She was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her poems have appeared or are forthcoming from Glass: A Journal of Poetry, So To Speak, SWWIM, Third Coast, Tinderbox, and other publications.