Mom Remembered
by Mark Fleisher

Home three days
maybe four
doesn't matter
sitting at the table
coffee cup in my right hand
newspaper spread
before my eyes

I'm six inches
off the chair spilling
coffee on pajama-clad thighs
startle response squared
Without a word, Mom
sweeps the shards into
a dustpan, depositing
useless pottery into the trash

Sorry, she whispers,
I mumble something
but want to shout
from the tops of my lungs
the depths of my soul
"ask me why,
ask me what,
ask me!"

She does not want to know
or perhaps wants to spare me
the pain of telling
I know she cares
still she does not ask

I love Mom
when she went back to work
I did not know
most of her paycheck
went for my college years
I did not know until
after she passed
never thanked her
never said I'm sorry
for screwing up
not graduating on time
letting my life spiral
into war leaving
her with 12 months of anguish

I read the worry
two, three times a week
when I would spin the dials
with urgent anticipation
for letters sent to
Box 12694
APO San Francisco 96307

Mom got to hold
her granddaughter
before my teary-eyed
father called and said
"worst possible news"

The rampaging cancer
ended her journey
five days after
the kid's first birthday
robbing them
of future celebrations

Loss filled me not
with anger but with rage
and despite knowing
no answers possible
I … asked … why

Return to:

[New] [Archives] [Join] [Contact Us] [Poetry in Motion] [Store] [Staff] [Guidelines]