Mother Courage
By Lenore Weiss

She sits on a bench wearing a carved tree resin rose
black garbage bag filled with acorns,
eucalyptus leaves, her bandages of flesh.

Whatever she finds she stuffs into her hotch-potch pot,
plastic water bottles discarded after a three-mile run,
flyers from a flea market.

She conducts a crowd of seagulls
away from her foot’s lack of pedicure,
her big toe bulbous in sawed off shoes.

Night edges out day.
A grey sky changes ownership.
She pledges allegiance to come what may.

Lenore Weiss is a regular contributor to Radius. Her most recent book is Cutting Down the Last Tree on Easter Island, available from from West End Press.