Elegy for My Mother

by Norman Dubie


The skiers drop down along the hill
past the dark woods.
There are white guns slung over their shoulders.
They are women. Someone
reminds us they are rivals
wanting gold, racing
for gold. And silver. One,
an unlucky marksman, rises in disappointment
from the shooting range.
She is angry and puts
a gloved fist into her breast.

If this was the last you saw
of earth—what would you think.
Would you believe
there was still a place, here, for love. Or understanding?

You said her children
will, at least, have venison
in winter. Then, but
what about the people
in the cities? And  

what about the cities?




Norman Dubie’s newest collection of poems, Robert Schumann is Mad Again, will be published by Copper Canyon Press in 2019. His previous collection, The Quotations of Bone (Copper Canyon Press, 2015), won the 2016 Griffin International Poetry Prize.  He lives and teaches in Tempe, Arizona.