Skip to main content

The Photographer Considers His Mother's Gift, a poem by Roger Pfingston

The Photographer Considers His Mother’s Gift

His mother was a squatter
well into her eighties, adept
at crouching to a tight fold:
rummaging a bottom cabinet
for that now-and-then pan,
edging the grass away
from the sidewalk,
even patiently removing
the tough-minded dandelions
in the rock driveway, her stand
against Roundup and other
killers of flora and fauna.      

Genetics, of course, but also
his early years of watching her
do what comes natural…
thus his tinkering
with the underbelly of the mower
or just hunkering down because it
feels good—a meditative stretch
at the lake’s edge—and always
those butt-low shots like yesterday,  
moments after a truck pulled away
in the Kroger parking lot, oil slick
shining up at the camera’s eye—
a rainy-day puddle glazed
with a dark rainbow.

Roger Pfingston is the recipient of a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and two PEN Syndicated Fiction Awards. His most recent chapbook, What’s Given, is available from Kattywompus Press. New poems are appearing this year in I-70 Review, U.S. 1 Worksheets, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Dash, Passager and Front Range Review.