The Reality of Loss
by Maralee Gerke
We page through dusty picture albums and
I ask about this person or that.
“Who is that brunette girl at my birthday party?”
She shrugs her shoulders and turns her face away.
My mother is forgetting my childhood.
We look at more faded images.
I work hard to keep her attention
Who? When? Where? I almost sob but,
she is ambiguous, vague.
I get no answers.
I want to know things that
happened before I could remember,
but I want all this too late.
My mother’s failing memory forces me
to accept the reality of loss.