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The World, a new poem by Adam Wyeth

My mother’s kitchen was a sea of blue cupboards
and shining surfaces, the door was always closed
or just ajar so I could sometimes peep in and catch
her dusting packets on shelves, or mopping
the floor smooth as an ice rink. A wilting herb

sat dying of thirst on the window sill, while outside
a bare hedge ringed our home, fortifying us from
next door. When I asked for water she’d startle
out of her cleaning waltz, spin on the spot
then take a polished glass from the highest cupboard
and dash to the taps. I’d catch her twisted image
bending in its chrome arm, letting the gushing water
run cold before filling the glass. I stood at the door
wanting to break through its icy exterior - the sea
of glass – but knew if I did the world would shatter.

Adam Wyeth’s second collection, The Art of Dying, is due from Salmon Poetry later this year