How Much

Sometimes I will tell people  

my mother died. 

And sometimes I will tell them 

she died on my wedding day. 

And if I trust the density 

of their benevolence, I will tell them 

her eyes rolled to the back of her head, 

as if she were watching it happen with

me, her mouth dropping  to a small

vowel as she slid 

to the floor in a periwinkle gown, 

quiet, without a goodbye 

or an objection; her wrists relaxed 

at her sides as if she didn’t think

reaching out for me would help.

And if they’re still listening,  

I will tell them how I stood there in pearled white satin,

stilled.  No breath in. No breath


As if I stopped breathing with her.

Lorraine Henrie Lins is a Pennsylvania county Poet Laureate and author of four books of poetry.  She serves as the Director of New and Emerging Poets with Tekpoet and is a founding member of the “No River Twice” improvisational poetry troupe.
Her work has appeared in a wide collection of familiar publications, and a small graffiti poster in New Zealand. Born and raised in the suburbs of Central New Jersey, this self-professed Jersey Girl now resides along the coast of Carolina where she has learned to pump her own gas.