After a Man - Will Reger

My mother was a round
nosegay of pansies.
In her sleeveless muumuu
she bore me here and there
along the great Muddy,
perhaps not once aware
of her place under the sky.
If she had been a gypsy
or a war refugee, her path
might have made more sense.
But, no, she followed a man.
Her rootlessness was in love.

Now she is old and sits alone
in a room she shares with stones.
Not stones for casting first,
but stones for polishing,
stones for giggling over
for their likeness to faces,
stones for setting in bottles
to glow in the dying sun.
Stones for piling in her corners
to keep her old soul in place,
to keep her from floating off
after a dream or a vision,
or after a man.

Will Reger was born and raised in the St. Louis, Missouri area.  He has been writing poetry since the 7th grade and has published in a wide variety of print and online publications.  Most recently, Front Porch Review, Chiron Review, and the Paterson Literary Review have accepted his work.  He has a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and currently teaches at Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois.  He lives in Champaign, Illinois, with his wife, Mary, with whom he has raised four children.  When he is not teaching or writing poetry, he collects flutes, plays flutes, and sometimes even writes poems about flutes.