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Gone So Far (Barnwood, 2005)

Gone So Far cover

Gone So Far is a chapbook of poems that focuses on the poet's relationship with her aging mother, in whose fragmented utterances she has found both eloquence and wisdom.

From Gone So Far

PRAYER

When I am old, help me to know I am old
And cannot help it. Help me to know myself
When I cannot help myself. When I do not know
Myself, let me forget what cannot be helped.

TWO

I'm two years older than you, right?

Of course I'm your mama, and yes, that's me, and I guess that baby's you.

But who's the daddy?

Is that your baby I'm holding?

I'm two days older than you, right?

Of course I'm your mama. We're just that close.

It's always been like that, all those years we lived together.

All those years, ever since, you know, then.

When we lived together, in our home town.

Now don't tell me this isn't right: I'm two minutes older than you.

Of course I'm your mama. That's why I'm older, I came first.

All right, but tell me this: wasn't I there the second you were born?

That's what I thought. From the very first.

We've always been together.

GONE SO FAR

I'm lost and I can't be found

pastures valley waters cup

They put me out and I can't go back

as through a glass those little girls

My clothes remind me of who I was

Of course I'm your mama. We're just that close.

through all the days of once was then

All those years, ever since, you know, then.

I try to be the same but I can't

I have been young and only now

I've gone so far and this is the end

so many voices so much light

My body aches it aches with sorrow

and shall not anymore

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