Two Poems

Fantasy -- Thumbprints

by Tori Wilfred

Tori writes: I live in Akron, Ohio with my husband and daughter. I expect to graduate in Spring, 1998 with an Master of Arts degree in English literature from the University of Akron. I had a poem and a short-short story published in Waynessence, a artist journal from Wayne College. For me, writing releases emotions I cannot express any other way. I want my poems to be a door to open my reader's emotions as well. That is what a good poem does--it becomes an avenue for empathy.

I wrote "Thumbprints" because of the sad fate that my mother, who died at age 42, never saw my daughter. But it moves me to see my remembrances of my mother along side the memories I am making with my daughter. This poem is to honor them both and the connection between the three of us.


My body stiffens
while I peer
on the face with no name,
like ice
on my heart
on memories
that clutch
like spiders
for half-remembered dreams,
the truth—
the face
by rings of gold.


Pages from my scrapbook
tumble like weeds
across the desolate desert floor…

The faded ink of a thumbprint
next to the tiny lines of a child's
Mom's and mine.
A life commenced; the other fulfilled.
Time to make memories began

I am the wind playing through
the pages—a movie stub
from Cinderella (my first)
flickers like an old-fashioned
projector would on a white wall.
A movie for only Mom and me

An "I'm proud of you" letter
when I played my first solo
and another when I graduated.
A flattened, faded flower
she sent when I turned twenty
to make me smile
as I turn another page--

The hospital parking deck ticket
—Small pale pink with black letters
like a flower in the early morning sun
The date and time
—even the second—I went to witness
Her smile bleach away into the white sheets;
A tear stains the name of the hospital

The day I gave life to my child
The bright wrist bands with our names
Rainbowed on the same sheets
The other spirit had flown;
Two thumbprints—my child's and mine
An existence beginning; the other fulfilled
Finishing the pages with promises
Of another reminiscence;
for another life to begin

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