by E.J. Rode

Mom, I want to say
I’m sorry for everything
I didn’t know
when you were 65,
for the way I secretly
rolled my eyes
when you had a headache
because the barometer dropped
and a storm was rolling in,
and at the way your voice
lit up
every time I called and
how I would wonder
why your life was so thin
that my voice mattered
that much.

I’m sorry I didn’t grasp
your anxiety over
buying a car
how you fretted about
having a payment
for the first time in decades,
and asked again and again
if I thought
my father, gone so many years,
would approve.

I’m ashamed
of my younger self
of how narrowly I saw you,
how poorly I listened,
how little I heard.
I know better
that I’m 65.


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