The Robert Watson Literary Prize Poem I HAVE A THEORY ABOUT REFLECTION

Spring 2009: Issue 85

Renée Ashley

I cannot put my mother in the freezer and neither can I store her

in the attic nor in the bank box nor in the canister of sugar In

fact she is calling me now she is ringing in my kitchen in both

bedrooms in the upstairs office I am wearing her like a too-big

coat The coat is made of wire I shoo her away I flap my hands:

go away go away I am a match and every time we speak—and

sometimes when we do not—she strikes me Even in the bend of a

spoon I can see her reaching