Friday, January 22, 2010


I think I was A good mother Yes, I say, yes you were -- the past tense ringing out like a minor chord. Her room is bare. A throw she crocheted is folded at the foot of her bed. A faded B&W photo of my sisters and me at an impossible age of innocence complements the standard-issue crucifix. I wheel her to the "activities" room where a rinky-dink upright stands humbly against the wall. Its keys are as cracked, yellowed, and spotted as my mother's hands. I play for her remembering scales I played by rote as she washed dishes after supper. How awful that I never understood why. When the last of the Schumann faded she brought her crippled hands together in some sort of approximation of applause. Her eyes -- still confused -- begged me for clarity. A moment of perfection with my mother will not happen now, I think. Or is this moment the one? Copyright 2010

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