Shara Lessley

The Clinic Bomber’s Mother


The trick, she guesses, is: be seen. Offer
coffee to police, walk among the living
without thinking of the dead. Never

apologize for being his mother. Keep
his photos on the mantel, his boyhood
room the same. Bring daisies to his plot,

ignore the other graves. Who really knows
who knows. She donates blood, is comforted
that strangers wear his clothes, irons

linens for St. Paul’s, whose confessionals
have never felt so cramped. Bless me, Father,
she admits, the bathroom hook still holds

his towel. There’s little time to think or rest.
More and more, the wafer tastes like flesh.

Shara Lessley, the author of Two-Headed Nightingale, received a 2015 Individual Artist Fellowship from the NEA. She is currently editing an anthology of essays on poetry and place with the poet Bruce Snider.