The old photo in a solarium
bone-white ceramic floors
lime wash walls tinted plum-red,
here mother used to sit:
a woman who lost her children.
Two daughters ages five and three.
Five month old son.
Youth Court declaring:
“An unfit mother!”
Sole custody for father.
Undiagnosed lung sarc, melancholia.
A woman on public curatorship.
The two photos side by side:
mother has aged twenty-two years.
The nothingness of the blank space
snapshots of the family
the first picture taken in 1990,
she holds my baby sister
what should have been the next photo
shows an empty chair
blue painted wood, jute seat.
Who was she?
How did we lose her?
Douglas Hospital psychiatry outpatient.
Tell her I love her
at 1:30, at 2 in the morning.
Ilona Martonfi Author of two poetry books, Blue Poppy, (Coracle Press, 2009.) Black Grass, (Broken Rules Press 2012). Published in Vallum, Accenti, The Fiddlehead, Serai. Poet, editor, teacher. Founder/producer of The Yellow Door and Visual Arts Centre Readings, co-founder of Lovers and Others. QWF 2010 Community Award.