The After Life of My Mother

Author | Jane Rosenberg LaForge

My mother was adamant
her life was most deserving
of a purgatory, sentence, the world
to come, Away Without Leave and
at its most desolate:
Sand and sky white
with silica, alkaline
and off the base, a military
installation is always
waiting, waiting,
for the peace to break.
When it breaks--
these particles of pre-arranged
honesty compressed
as if a bitter cosmetic—
these shavings no longer can contain
all the world’s beauty in untested
those chaste vessels
where assumptions are kept. 
They disperse as if the architecture
of a long, thin neck but too weak
for hanging skeleton and flesh, 
the shards playing at dust, 
powder ground and thrown
at a windshield, behind which
my mother learned to drive
and was introduced to adulthood.
Her people were a race of desert
claim jumpers, and her claim
was to wait for the next age
coming like a wave of destruction.


About the Author | Jane Rosenberg LaForge lives in New York City with her husband, daughter, and their cat, Zeka. Her forthcoming novel is "The Hawkman: A Fairy Tale of the Great War" from Amberjack Publishing; her newest full-length collection of poems is "Daphne and Her Discontents" from Ravenna Press. She has also published a memoir and five other volumes of poetry. Other than her writing, her life is not that interesting, and she knows of what she speaks.