Poem by Jonathan Moskaluk
February 15, 2023
For My Mother, Big and Little
Laying in the velour pastures and florals of our couch wasn’t quite like England, but you made it warm. You’d draw up your knees, clad in yellow pajamas, to form a pocket for my small body. A couch on a couch. I’d climb the fraying vines, up past the barn roofs and into the butter-soft clouds, where I curled up on your outside, as I did on your inside. Tiny fingers slipped through crocheted blankets, wrapped up acorn-brown hair — we were two nested dolls. How could something be so large? The final time I tried it, I knew it wouldn’t work — my knees were too knobby and it didn’t feel warm, though we both needed warmth. Another step away from that perfect nap — that peaceful pink net. Do you remember when your skin was my skin, and we shared everything with each other? I tried to make myself small, but I grew like a fire. I curled up on my own — I burned through my blankets and my sad pillow, while delirious from the heat — while delirious from the drugs. I curled up, in my oubliette, out from beneath the canary’s wing. And I wonder what that’s like — having a boy in your belly who walks out of you, and then away from you. How do you put a tooth back in? But I grew, and in my growth I have been every doll. I’m large enough now to offer you a little pocket, Mother — if you want one to rest in — either in this life, or after.
About Jonathan Moskaluk
Jonathan Moskaluk is a poet and graphic designer from Vancouver Island, on the west coast of Canada. He lives amongst the trees with his partner and his cat. He describes them individually as loving and disgruntled. You can decide which is which.