Aubade: My Mother Calls Home

An mmhmm is softer, sweeter than yes—
out of my mother’s mouth, a bright song—how
beautiful, this flavor of English, best
served over the phone, best from Mother, now
miles and miles away from home, Greensboro
and its clay, its quiet constellation
of field flowers, the unrelenting glow
of porch lamps, lemons filled with light—the sun
is a dull bulb in comparison. Today,
I wake to my mother’s voice, her sister
on the other side of the line. There’s a
comfort in knowing that these words can stir
the air until they feel like a mother’s
tongue: warm and loved enough to drop some r’s.