Caretaker by Roberta Beary

Caretaker Roberta Beary Dove


florida sunshine
mother soaks up
the shade

cherry blossoms
the incessant sound
of mother’s cough

mother’s day
only the tulips
come calling

in the wheels
of mother’s chair
wet leaves

cheshire moon
mother no better
no worse

autumn moon
her brain a tangle
of white string

winter solstice
no spark of recognition
in mother’s brown eyes

blue crocus
mother will never
get better


rain all day
a place I cannot reach
in mother’s eyes

hospice day
a flutter of movement
in mother’s hand

resurrection sky
mother somewhere between
here and there

bone dry
mother’s hand
in mine

brief sunset
a world beyond this one
in mother’s eyes

day of blossoms
a nurse erases
mother’s name

the funeral

on the church steps
a mourning dove
with mother’s eyes


First published in Deflection.



Roberta Beary identifies as gender-expansive, and writes to connect with the disenfranchised, to let them know they are not alone. She is the author of three books of poems: Deflection (Accents, 2015) nothing left to say (King’s Road Press, 2009) and The Unworn Necklace (Snapshot Press, 2007, 5th ed. 2017) which was a finalist in the Poetry Society of America annual book awards). Beary is the editor/co-editor of the haiku anthologies Wishbone Moon (Jacar Press, 2018) fresh paint (Red Moon Press, 2014), 7 (Jacar Press, 2013), dandelion clocks (Haiku Society of America, 2008) and fish in love (Haiku Society of America, 2006). Her work appears in Rattle, KYSO Flash, Beltway Quarterly Review and Haiku In English The First Hundred Years (Norton, 2013). Beary’s work has been nominated for Best of the Net and multiple Pushcart Prizes. She lives in County Mayo, Ireland.


Photograph by Moataz1997.

2 thoughts on “Caretaker by Roberta Beary

  1. Excellent writing. Expertly crafted minimal poetry. The details you choose to share as the narrative unfolds, the world beyond your mother, act like a mirror reflecting your emotional state, or so it seems. Enjoyed very much.


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