Monthly Archives: March 2012

Mother, mother

Through a paper thin mirror-image
I glimpse this mother-ness
as if for the first time

I thought I should know her 
intimately, yet I am startled 
by that unfamiliar gaze
in picture perfect focus

She dwells in the unsaid
of the amorphous space between
us.  She cloaks her impalpable
web of connection around
our threadbare shoulders

I was not cognizant of her truth
or beauty, she lay 
obscured from my sight 
as I yielded to you
and other worthy distractions

Now, I pass by that chaotic collage
of our daily lives, where 
this mother image confronts
and confounds me
like a once familiar stranger

In my looking
a subtle shift takes me
from inner preoccupations 
sodden with guilt and 
laid bare by a history 
of which you were not a part

         to seeing

the gently sloping lean of your tender body
      falling into mine

the careless fall of your golden-brown hair
        merging into mine

     hand upon hand

that speaks of the dawn of another story
of mother, that is only mine to be
and yours to one day claim.

We should have been

We should have been grey haired, 
like the rest, beyond eighty even
Instead we were fair haired
and barely forty
We should have been pushing our children 
on swings in the park
Instead I was pushing you 
around bleak and solemn corridors 
where people go to die
You could have been bitter, mad as hell
or as sad as we would become
Instead you were grateful for all you 
still lived, as we ate cake and sang 
happy 2nd birthday to your girls
I should have, could have, said more, done more
loved more openly, less self-consciously
Instead I sat by your side, for as long as I could
feeding you ice, soothing your forehead, touching
your skin, ’til after your last breath was gone

daughter of mine

Woman and child pause
to rest on a flat, seat-like rock
that peers out to sea
A small and delicate waist
cupped by the large and pendulous arm,
a well-rehearsed coming together,
as if separation
was only ever
a painful illusion.