Wordless – by Cathy Ann Kodra

Painting: “Chaotic Bliss”
Artist: Henry L. Jones
2019 – 16×20 inches – mixed media on canvas

Featured Composer’s Notes: The music is a hymn of reconciliation, renewed hope after years of bitterness. The daughter/author seems committed to bridging the chasm between her and her mother, a commitment born perhaps out of a new spiritual vision. The musical phrases reflect the lines “Mother, here in the midst of tomorrows”, “Let us each choose one…sprout a wordless conversation”, and “How I wish you were here”.

Original Musical Composition by Jeff Byers in response to “Wordless. All rights reserved.


Mother, here in the midst of tomorrows
we tend our wounds, turn to everything

we were unable to say in the yesterdays
when you were here and we both starved

on the weak broth we offered each other. The door
to my heart, secured against you, translated

each key you slid inside the lock to mist.
I thought you had the upper hand,

your words hard rebukes, mine slower
but unkind. Our love was a kind

of slow execution, each persistent jab a smaller
death. We must slice the old hours open

like melons ripened overlong, remove the bitter sounds
and spread them to sweeten under the sun.

Let us each choose one, soak it in blood-bound
intention, sprout a wordless conversation

that forgives the past and grows us
into a new, tenable love. How I wish

you were here, now, reaching across
this table for the seedling in my hand.

Cathy Ann Kodra, former RN and special education teacher, now works as an independent editor in East Tennessee. Her poetry, essays, and short stories have appeared in numerous publications, including Blueline, drafthorse, Psaltery & Lyre, RHINO, Still: The Journal, Whale Road Review, and Yemassee. She was a contributing editor for New Millennium Writings from 2010-2018. She is currently associate editor for MSI Press and the Iris Publishing Group. Kodra won the 2016 LMU George Scarbrough Prize for Poetry. Her first full poetry collection, Under an Adirondack Moon, was released by Iris Press in October 2017.