©Andrena Zawinski, 2012

(on an anniversary of my mother’s death after dreaming
her saying: “Please, just let me sleep.”)

Tell me something. Tell me about your walk to school,
how you so loved the snow, and about the classroom,
the potbelly stove and its warm – tell me again
how your lead pencil transformed itself into the magic
of letter, word, meaning singing the lines of the page.

Tell me again how each winter you disassembled
those pickle barrels, turned scrappy slats into snowshoes,
winding burlap and baling wire around makeshift mukluks
for a two-mile coaltown hike through the Laurel Highlands.

And tell me about the cold, how you swathed your hands
with wool socks your mother crocheted from leftover skeins
of afghan throws, those shawls of festive carnival strands,
gifts of stitch in a geometry of fingers from hook, draw, loop,
the needle twisting thread into blazes of zigzagging color.

Tell me again how when dark descended onto rooftops
and across windows of your company town those frigid nights,
how you slipped the hot water bottle between the quilt
and piles of throws to kill the chill. Tell me about the cold.

Wrap me in your yarns. Just please,
oh please, don’t ever stop talking.

©Andrena Zawinski, 2012
Andrena Zawinski  is a fellow of the W. PA Writing Project at the University of Pittsburgh where she led poetry writing workshops in the Young Writers Institutes, Teachers’ Institutes, and  for the Mid-Atlantic States Council. Her poetry collection, Something About, is a 2010 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award recipient. She founded and runs a women’s poetry salon for which she is editor of their anthology, Turning a Train of Thought Upside Down.  http://andrenazawinski.wordpress.com/2009/06/03/5/

3 Responses to “Tell Me Something by Andrena Zawinski”

  1. Cyndie Says:

    I love, love, love this. How beautiful. Greetings from the ‘Burgh!

  2. Tikvah Feinstein, Editor Taproot Literary Review Says:

    “The words of a whisperer are as dainty morsels,
    And they go down into the inner-most parts
    of the body.” Proverbs 26:22 A wonderful poem, gave me chills.


  3. Andrena,
    What a perfect marriage of photo with poem. I love the emotional nature of this mother/daughter love poem!!!
    Christine

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