(First published April, 2018)
As still to hear, the speaking of a poem
Like ravens in the desert, sadly singing
The pages of a twice-forgotten novel
Within a theatre, the same pics running
And only for confusion is there worry
In wobbling and jerking and in shaking.
Feelings I've been having I'm not shaking:
Just what is life, reduced within a poem?
And what is gained from sorrow but more worry?
A memory: a still-young girl is singing
Throughout a grocery store, her errands running,
And her small son, to whom it all is novel.
But now, an aging shelf, a fav'rite novel,
And from the cover, some light dust I'm shaking;
I see her, happy. No more races running,
And mouthing words from William Blake. A poem
About such innocence as once was singing
When she just a child, but clothed in worry.
A tax form on the table she will worry,
Instructions long as any tome or novel;
The nurses stop, their voices fairly singing
To check upon her mood, her gait, her shaking;
Their interchange is sweet - a gentle poem.
In just a minute, two more errands running.
The tracks are there: the trains no longer running.
No passengers to hurry or to worry --
Upon the walls, a short graffiti poem
Whose message might be turned into a novel:
That why should we at fate our fists keep shaking
When we were made for laughing, dancing, singing?
I play for her, I hear her old voice singing:
The tunes of long ago are still there, running,
As she, in time to music's gently shaking.
A moment clear as glass, and free from worry,
As melody comes new: forever novel,
And lyrical as any child's poem.
My memories: her shaking,
but then singing --
A poem, said --
a dark young woman running --
A bird released from worry --
4 thoughts on “Mother”
I’m so glad you got to play for her and she to sing. Those notes will always linger in the air like dust motes catching light and bringing back delight. I got to read our favorite poems to my mother as she faded. And, that has made all the difference.
Magical, how music can forge its way to an earlier time, restoring memories, joy, and laughter. Such restored times are very precious.
So beautifully stirring and truly magical.