Mother at 85

Mother at 85 March 26, 2012

We haven’t spoken in years.

My father says her memory is

shrinking. After five minutes

she’s unsure what conversation

she’s parachuted into. She can’t

remember what she went down

the mayonnaise aisle for. It softens

me and I wonder: what crumbles

first, the hard times or the soft?

Has she lost her version of why

I left? Of when she slapped me

in the eye? Of her darkly whis-

pering, “I wish I could hurt

you more.”

Tonight I visit her in dream,

watching without her knowing.

This time I see through

my version of things.

As she’s going, I want to

see her more clearly. The only

time I might get close to her

is when she no longer

remembers who I am.

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