for my mother

curled up in a chair and facing away from me

today my mother said

i’m paraphrasing, i hope that’s ok

‘i always thought i would outshine my mother.’

to be fair, my mother, the speaking mother in this piece

has a hell of a competitive streak

if you know her you’re nodding


and she said, then, my mother,

‘and i realized it doesn’t matter.’

i was looking at wrens and a bluejay through the living room window

standing at my mother’s shoulder

and i did not say this but i thought it,

‘i am glad to know this now,

that it does not matter to outshine

my mother, because

it will be impossible.’

to my mother,

i love you, i am sorry for our loss,

memaw is a present tense, just as lloyd never left me.

i will grieve more privately

and then write about it for all the world

but i assure you, i am sad

and i am glad that your mother was yours

and that you are mine.


One thought on “for my mother

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