Annette Sisson has poems in numerous literary journals including Nashville Review, Typishly, One, The West Review, HeartWood Literary Magazine, and Sky Island Journal. Her full-length book, Small Fish in High Branches, is forthcoming from Glass Lyre Press (2021); her chapbook, A Casting Off, was published by Finishing Line in 2019. She was named a 2021 Mark Strand Poetry Scholar for the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, a 2020 BOAAT Writing Fellow, and won The Porch Writers’ Collective’s 2019 Poetry Prize. http://annettesisson.com
After my mother’s burial, I was a statue.
Earth stalled in its plasma of ether,
a vacuum swallowing a strand of threaded pearls.
At Musée Rodin, in Paris, bronze sculptures
punctuate the garden, tucked in gaps among yew
trees, flanked by boxwoods, hedges of laurel.
Each statue a pause, a held breath,
cloud shadow on stone. Among drifts
of water and wind, quivers of frond, petal,
limb, Rodin’s sculptures verge and shift
within their frames, transcendent forms, caught,
in medias res, motion chiseled—a foot
mid-step, an arm crooked, not yet
a salute, seated bodies, thighs flexed,
calves poised to rise into chiming thought.
Air swirls the chestnut trees, the cedars’
spiraling needles, their white-blossomed cones.
A fountain loops arteries of water through its chambers,
fans them into throbbing breeze. My figure
rustles, an umber shape beside juniper,
chin lifted to sky—about to grasp
a branch of cherry blossoms, or search for the water
feature, spray arcing to basin. I linger,
surrounded by bone-white lilies, poppies,
violet-blue iris, my mother’s eyes.