In her poem, “About the Author,” Karen Greenbaum-Maya tells us “Like Proust, I’m not inventive. / Like Henry James, I’m fat. / Like Melville, slow to publish; / Like Eliot, I’ve a cat.” In the telling, and more so, the surprising ways she chooses to tell, we discover not only the poet’s sly wit, but her slant and acute perceptivity, and her fearlessness.My Mother is a Metaphor My mother is the neighborhood cat who goes after the birds. The birds are the words I can’t remember, the tune I can’t forget. The tune is the year the trees kept their leaves until December. The leaves are the book I never finished reading, never returned. The book is driving empty streets late at night, the night I dreamt I found a man’s corpse on graduation day. The corpse is the sky after four days of wildfires, dim as weak tea. The fire is the fire until there’s nothing left to burn.