Death Mother and Other Poems, 1979

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Death Mother
for Hayden Carruth

You came as sleep, warily:
when I woke
things had a deep-blue look.

You disguised yourself as night, but
behind the stars
I saw dark flashes of your body.

And as for dreams—
how many you tried me with!
It seems you never weary of your
hopeful grim deceptions

as though I stood in need of such
visions of filth and blood
to move me to acknowledge your
dominion, mother.