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Mothers and Daughters
by Candace Turner

Hooded brown eyes follow your voice
If you didn't know her, you wouldn't guess
You're a mere shadow
In her blurred world

Mom eyes see things that aren't there
Not unusual for macular vision
People, lions, decks of cards
"Why don't you talk to them Mom; make new friends
It must be exciting to see the world differently"

She shares her profound knowledge:
"You never find trouble where you look for it"
"Paint your butt green and run with the chickens"
"Go outside and get the stink blown off"

We dutiful daughters decide
Things are open to interpretation
Promise to carry these tiny truths forward
For future generations to ponder

Weekly phone calls begin with a question
"What kind of trouble did you get into this week Mom?"
Sworn to secrecy she relays her latest misadventure
Pills cooked in melted butter meant for scrambled eggs
Pop Pop Pop

She's embarrassed
I try not to laugh
"Mom, they'll go down easier"
She no longer likes to dine out
"I just make a mess; can't see what I'm eating"
"Order messy food Mom.
Won't be a big deal if you end up wearing most of it"

Alcohol—the devil's invention
On holidays she allows herself a small glass of Bailey's
We pour our booze into coffee cups
What she doesn't know can't hurt her

Mom believes God's made a big mistake
"People hang around too long"
Rosary beads click-click through her gnarled fingers
She sticks out her tongue

I'm not sympathetic
"Mom, you have a mission
Until it's complete
You're stuck here"

We know her mission isn't a secret
She's our rock, my one foot held firmly in reality
We're not ready to lose her
She's not ready to go

It's said we all turn into our Mothers
          I hope so


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