Scott Zieher


(Childhood Room of Arshile Gorky)

The carving of whistles from bone.
The search among tall trees for eggs.
Onion ceiling hangs like with ham. Bright
Apron, jittery window above boiling water.
As if to the roof, whey separates from curd
And the butter floats up. Hence the sweet yellow
Much later. The mother light-slippered.
Knots of tight blue stitches on the apron.
Hither and thither the slippery rituals
Like exchanging of breath between brothers.
A conspiracy indeed of dusty sharing.
Onion with feathers and mother. Clay
To be huddled around, feet to the sparks.
Whistles piercing the tall trees freely.
Again with the embers and muddy walls.
Hands for kneading, dearest to hold.
Old hands the softest with light boats
On deep lakes their earliest memory.



Arshille Gorky (a.k.a. Vostanig Adoian) and his Armenian heritage (the earlier, more peaceful, years in particular) inspired this poem of wishful mnemonics. I love my mother as much as he did.