A Red-Haired Girl
At forty-one my mother had
no ovaries, no uterus, no teeth.
Her husband loved a red-haired girl.
This wombless woman
with fingernails like moth wings
raps nightly at my window whispering
"Look in the bathtub, you'll find
your mother's feet."
I murder her slack mouth,
her corn-encrusted feet;
I the nun at her haunt-bed
beseech a resurrection.
I tell her eyes on a rosary salty with use;
when she taps I plead gently,
"Everyone loves a red-haired girl."