You Were, Are, My Mother


and made the days pass like fields of grain

glimpsed through the window of our passing car. 

We sat and squirmed.  Dad drove us somewhere –

Tennessee or Illinois – in the summer.

We played games like Geography, I-spy, G-H-O-S-T



Turning towards us, who relied on your moods

to bolster our own, relied on your enthusiasms

to kindle our own – you were lovely, fortyish,

hilarious, full of life,  you were my mother,

and therefore altogether beautiful.



                                              (When I was sick –

I could not see you that way, for I could not see

myself, and passed the days living in the murk

of an aquarium whose walls shivered with the cold,

the dark.   That was when you started to fall. 

We didn’t know why, at first, yet I was so far-gone,

I could not have been of help.)



Last night,

after the latkes and the merriment, you stood beside me

on the driveway.  We watched your parents pull away.

You grabbed my arm to steady yourself, and squeezed. 

I could feel my own tears ready to fall –


so much regret as your son, so much sadness –


and still you love me. You squeeze my arm,

and for a moment I am back in the car,

we are driving somewhere, you have turned around. 

And I am still so completely in love with you.


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