In this emotional follow-up to The Zoo Father, a daughter is haunted by her mentally ill mother until a series of remarkable transformations help her to conquer painful childhood memories. Over the course of the collection, the feared mother becomes a rattlesnake, an Aztec goddess, a Tibetan singing bowl, a stalagmite, a praying mantis, and then a ghost orchid, yet in the central poem the daughter becomes a cosmic stag and escapes her mother-huntress.
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The Rattlesnake Mother
Portrait of My Mother as Coatlicue
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antlers Aztec basalt bird blood blue body bones breath Butterfly Carving the Dead Caylar cicada climb corolla crystal dark daughter Door Flower dragonflies eyes face feet Ferenc Juhdsz fingers forest front door galaxies Gate of Secrets Ghost Orchid giant carline thistle glass grass snake hair hands head hear heart hiss hole hornets House of Solitude Huntress Itzpapalotl Kew Gardens kissing Larzac light limestone lips Listen look Lunettes magma Maman Mimi Khalvati Mirror Orchid moonlight moth mother's voice mouth Nebula neck nest night nine-year-old mother Orchid House Orchid Hunter oxygen painted Pascale Petit perfume petals Piano Flower plumed serpent Poetry rattler rock serpent shiver siestas silence Singing Bowl skin skull smoke Song Orchids spine spiral stag stamen stars sting stone story solitude talk thorn Three Horses toad tongue tree vanilla orchid vine veils wait wasp Were-Deer window wings Witch Bottle Xipe Totec Xochiquetzal Zoo Father