"Mother and Son"

A weekly poem, read by the author.
Aug. 9 2005 7:16 AM

"Mother and Son"

Click here to listen to Mark Strand read this poem.


The son enters the mother's room
and stands by the bed where the mother lies.
The son believes that she wants to tell him
what he longs to hear—that he is her boy,
always her boy. The son leans down to kiss
the mother's lips, but her lips are cold.
The burial of feelings has begun. The son
touches the mother's hands one last time,
then turns and sees the moon's full face.
An ashen light falls across the floor.
If the moon could speak, what would it say?
If the moon could speak, it would say nothing.

Mark Strand lives in New York City. He teaches at Columbia University.