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I will take this liberty. This is poem I wrote for my mom last year, but I’m gonna reuse it. It is breaking rule one, but it has never been blogged, so that is okay, I think. My adult mother washed my hair this year, when I couldn’t use my arms. She measured the liquid in my drains, and lifted me up when I needed her. She is, hands down, the most amazing person I have ever met. I love her so much, and so do her grandchildren, that I want to share this:
What I Remember
Here is what I remember.
Not a feeling, but a feeling imagined, or inspired by a memory, of my infant cheek on your breast. Skin of equal softness, such things can’t be remembered, can they? And yet, there it is.
And after that, tiny aching moments of my feet in cold, cold water, and berry-stained fingertips, watching you push the shuttles back and forth in the mornings, and all the dancing in the shadow evenings.
You always said you couldn’t sing, but sometimes, in the car, if we weren’t paying attention….slow down, you’re moving too fast, got to make the morning last, just kicking down the cobblestones, a hike to a mountain lake, sap in my eye, cold water was never an excuse not to jump, do do do do do do feeling groovy.
And here is what I don’t remember. What I can only imagine, my eyes newly-minted with motherhood. The sure-footed terror of your hand on my hot forehead, the mind-numbining exhaustion of just one more story.The intuition that the girl before you was perhaps a little to shy, a little too chubby, a little too strange for a world a little too concrete. The supreme frustration in the knowledge that the path you weeded and cleared of rocks is not the one I would follow. A sigh, a release, a heel-dragging, tongue-biting acceptance. Do you remember when you tried to teach me math? And here is what I do recall, or most of it, a peace-offering of a notebook, to a young girl loosed from her moorings, and the feeling of those invisible hands, waiting below my every fall. Hey, let’s go for a bike ride. I remember a winter’s night, I, the last skater on the pond, a circle of tiny flames caught in the ice candles (yeah, this is the stuff of faerie tales), and I remember the flickering light and how you said some people feel alone, staring them down, but not us. Not me, and you. Do you remember how we smelled like dust and berries? The stars of that night are less numbered than our memories of us. Do you remember the look on your face, when you met your daughter’s daughter? Because I do. I do.
These are the moments that weigh more than the stars, that hold more than the minutes, that are captured in snowdrops, that fall into mountain lakes, that are carried downstream, echoing off rocks, to arrive at our ears, waiting on the deck of a cabin, to rest by a creek in the mountain,
the lullaby of what I remember.
Happy Saturday, people of the poems. I love my mom.