Cathexis Northwest Press

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When I Think of My Mother, I Remember
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I. 

The way she stroked my hair.

 

II.

The country songs she played in the car.

 

III.

Her browning lawn.

 

IV.
A wool blazer I used to sleep

in, so I wouldn’t freeze.

 

V.

Her glove-compartment—

spitting papers and registration forms.

 

VI.

Her used syringe—found

while planting her favorite flowers.

 

VII.

Being locked inside 

the bedroom closet

so she could get her fix.

VIII.

Mothballs 


IX.

Whiplash. 


X.

The day she didn’t come back to get me.

 

XI.

That I grieved long before she died. 

Matthew Feinstein recently graduated from California State University Long Beach with his BA in English Creative Writing and just finished applying to MFA programs in Creative Writing, Poetry. He has published a Micro Chap titled 'Lemon Law' (Origami Poems Project). His work has also appeared in The Write Launch and Inky Squib: A Butte College Student Literary Journal.

"During the writing process, the poem always seems to know where it's heading long before I do. It's as if my mind is leading me on a scavenger hunt, and my subconscious gradually gives me clues so I can reach the heart of the poem. In the case of this poem, I started writing from a fictional perspective and for months I didn't know why I wrote the poem or why I was attached to it. I showed an earlier draft of the poem to someone and they asked me what I was trying to say in the poem. I realized the poem didn't have a heart. So they suggested I make it a list poem. At first, I thought this wasn't appropriate for the poem, but as I rewrote it,  I realized that the poem was my way of coping with the fact that my mother suffers from depression."