Heavy Metal by Jean Cozier

Apr 28, 2017 | Issue 1: Mothers, Jean Cozier, Poetry

My mother entered a nursing facility on January 2, 2014, and thus I began yet another chapter in a long, dysfunctional story I really would like to stop reading.

At the age of 98, she still has the power to darken my life.  I’m working on that – hence, “Heavy Metal.”  The title popped into my head one morning as I jogged.  Over the next six months the poem wrote itself, and un-wrote itself, in my head, as I attempted to come to terms with my new role as my mother’s caretaker.  I got stuck at the beginning, came back to it later, and then the ending wrote itself in one piece during one particularly sleepless night.

My mother told me last Christmas to pick one of the rings as a present.  Which I did.  But I still haven’t worn it.

Heavy Metal
(Beads and Chain)


She stole from the house

Like a thief in the night.

With a burden so heavy

It would never be light.

Two pillowcases,

Stuffed full of jewels

From a life not worth living

Bought and paid for by fools.

Where’s the philosopher,

Where is the stone

That could change this base metal

I don’t want to own

Into something I value.

Something that’s free –

Something I’d cherish

And still feel like me.


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