Featured Poet: Nancy Lagomarsino, Hanover
Nancy Lagomarsino is the author of three books of prose poetry, Sleep Handbook (Alice James Books, 1987), The Secretary Parables (Alice James Books, 1991), and Light from an Eclipse (White Pine Press, 2005). She was born in Montpelier, VT, earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College, and has lived in Hanover, NH, since 1974.
Sonata for Mother gives the impression that my mother has passed away, but actually she’s 93 and lives independently on Cape Cod. I find I must rehearse what is to come.
Sonata for Mother
In my mind’s cottage, I hear the sea inhale, exhale, the planet’s way of breathing. After explosions and fires the first fog, first mist, rain, rivulet, brook, boulders cooling, hiss of stream, rivers between banks, deltas, and the newborn sea takes a breath.
I feel my heartbeat when I lie on my side facing the open window, matching my breath to the sea’s breath, distracted by my heart’s fibrillation so similar to yours, skipped beats, allegro, adagio, a whole note followed by eighth notes, the heart’s ashes shifting. The sea’s breaths have been further and further apart, and now silence.
The sky will have to do more work. Something or someone will have to close the sea’s eyes. In my mind’s cottage, which is always by the sea, I place the palms of my hands on paper-thin water, brushing toward my body, closing the eyelids of the sea. Nothing stirs, not even wind pebbles. My love for you has been so basic, I can’t tell it from self-love or self-hate. All night I lie on my side facing the open window, waiting for another gasp, unable to accept the sea’s eternal pause.