The fifth poem in the collection, this is the first one to interest me, but like the other four, it feels dashed off, undedited; and I keep asking myself why these poems should deserve my time if they weren't good enough for the author's. The crux of this poem is how well the body can communicate, particularly that of the narrator's mother:
that day not long before her death--her face tilted up
at me, her mouth falling open, wordless, just as
we open our mouths in church to take in the wafer,
meaning communion? What matters is context--
and the poem doesn't give us any context for the mother's body language.
By this point I'm only reading the book because I made a commitment for the month. Other than linebreaks, and perhaps the poet's politics or heritage, this is neither poetry nor good writing. And this book won a Pulitzer--what has our culture fallen to?