Poem Posted on May 9, 2010 – Mother’s Day

Posted: May 9, 2010 in Samples of My Writing

Poem for my mother on Mother’s Day – from Partake, out end of May 2010

Mental Errors
For my mother

My mother’s stroke has
Left her without God
Now she says the names
Of her children in the same
Voice she used to address God
More throaty and less nasal
Deepened by how somber
Each word has to be.
Whenever we speak now on the phone
Her words are mostly random utterances
She remembers my name
But thinks my sister, brother and I still
Live in the old house at Longbow Lake

Two weeks ago when I told her I loved her
She said she would always love me
Then last week when I said it again
She said Oh that’s from Ontario
Where we all lived once
I can’t imagine her thoughts now
She can’t hold the phone for long
So there isn’t much to say
And behind the few words exchanged
Other words lurk
Heavy words
Necessary words
That used to circle with urgency
But simply linger now.

I repeat myself often
And she likes that
Sometimes parrots back to me
Now her days
Have nothing to separate them
Except the hours of sleep
I can’t imagine her dreams
Wonder if she still has them
But she must

We are the dark marrow
That travels our bones
She gave me life and
For a short while we shared a single heart
Now we are scattered pieces
With no one to gather them up

My mother on the other end of the line
Hesitates and then asks
If I am my brother
When I say no she says
How is he doing
So I say fine
She says that’s good.

My mother used to pray
Before she went to sleep
And now she’s
Forgotten what prayer is
Soon she may forget her children
Then I don’t know what will be left
I can’t imagine what we will say then
Mostly we’ll just hold hands
Strangers waiting together.


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