Past Praise for Mother Quiet:
"The aim of poetry (and the higher kind of thriller) is to be unexpected and memorable. So a poem about death might treat it in a way that combines the bizarre and the banal: the Other Side as some kind of institution—a creepy hospital, an officious hotel or retirement home. Martha Rhodes takes such an approach in 'Ambassadors to the Dead,' from her abrupt, unsettling, artfully distorted, indelible new book Mother Quiet. Blending the matter-of-fact with the surreal, as a way of comprehending the stunning, final reality, Rhodes is an inheritor of Emily Dickinson's many poems on the same subject."
—Robert Pinsky, Washington Post
About the Author
Table of ContentsContents One wakes to another door. (Burden of Inheritance) There are apples, Rose, the mother, Boys, girls, some of them siblings, Both of us under one boy or another. Even from their graves their disdain The children were left right there, weren’t Worry worry worry and pluck my eyebrows bare The twins’ teacher claimed she’d never gone skating Even the parade of turtles The air was heavy with blood. What brews here, you think, is a hard green, (Yard Fire) A crow at my mouth. When I see a woman The world, how greenesses The galaxy was fertile that night. He climbs the staircase of his dry throat, It is the horse in her he fears, Her biscuit in her hand, Warehouses of palaces The moment it became A lake in February— Husband, who is that woman there, He looks over at her body, at rest, Of course they cried at leaving, Should I not have said hello, (Looking Down) The man stood in the frost. He scolds, she nags. Right after pancakes. I do not want to finish my potato, There is nothing she can say about the window save it won’t open— If by following him, Your dog’s dinner. You want to dip yourself I found myself looking down How can anyone conjure the invisible My job is to extract your soul and usher it I had to let him go. In the dunes, fox tracks, and— Nothing is the thin wall of glass (as thin as skin) Acknowledgments