All My Motherly Duty

I could have died on this road alone

but for the fever of your touch.
You pull crusts off my loneliness

and your hand on my  wrist
lessens this wake I drag
behind me like a stillborn.

Your transmuted voice whispers
my secrets hidden in a bucket of eels

where you mock their twice mirrored mouths

I wrap my prayer shawl of grief
around the boney circumference
of your sloped shoulders.

I don’t die with longing,

I don’t even die for your lips
to press like poppies
onto my white waxen face.

I have saved all my motherly duty for you

singer of hymns and roman candle
endings splashing over my awe.

If you call me precious

don’t then graze my cheeks
with the intent of robbing

my benign forgiveness.

We carry nothing but concrete
and skinned knees down to the river

bruised and broken we do not fall,

we have become a cascade of descending numbers
filling the morning sky with a million ways
to skip over each calculation.

We drift alone and circle the sun with our purpose
each time we are burned,

singed wings drop us like holy stones
on to one another’s stage.

Leave me here on the edge of this knife
not knowing whose cold blood I’ll draw.

A heart cradled once sings anthems
of recognition upon awakening,

a heart trapped twice merely stops dead.

Jude Reads Her Poetry

Coming Events

Reading at the University of the Fraser Valley, March 14 with Bonnie Nish

March 22, Planet Earth Poetry Victoria, with Bonnie Nish

April 27 concert with Thomas RL Beckman on Bowen Island with Bonnie Nish Tuesday April 30 Jewish Community Centre

World Premiere of the St. Roch Suite! 10th Anniversary Gala reading to specific Art installations. 9 March, 2019
Prince George Symphony Orchestra,
Performance by Jude Neale (poet) and Thomas R.L. Beckman (composer)