Tuesday, December 21, 2004

In Memoriam

Today is the thirteenth anniversary of my mother's death from cancer; she was 49. She loved poetry and in some ways I feel like I'm living out the rest of her life for her—an idea I have extremely mixed feelings about. Here is a poem she wrote for me two months before she died; I find it sweet and bitter to contemplate:
My Son
Now I know
    why I grew you
    why I snipped here
    watered there
    Then forgot you
    and continued the dance.

It was to have someone
    to talk to
    in my old age.
       to smile?

release me
for I have grown old waiting for you
this hair on my shoulders
has long been pinnned up
       turned gray
there have been many partings
She had a terrific sense of humor, too:
I have never tasted
Sweeter lips than yours

O melancholy
O patience on her monument
O jocund day
O Niobe, all tears
O the bones of rivers
O tempora, mores
O life!
Oh shit.
Safe travels, Mom.

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