Today is my mother’s birthday – had she lived out her genetic potential, we might be celebrating her 94th birthday, or at least she might have passed her 93rd – as her mother and maternal grandmother did. However, this quiet, gentle soul who so appreciated beauty in every aspect, showed her great love for her family through her fine cooking and outstanding baking, was not destined to remain with us that long. Even my now grey haired cousins remember her chocolate chip cookies.
Acknowledgement: The poem was printed in The Enigmatist in June of 2010.
Joanne is my sister.
The Eleventh of June
Your birthday has come again, Mother.
How easily I recall it –
While I seem to forget the year of your death.
Your essence separated from its fragile shell
not three months after your seventy-third birthday.
I subtract that number from Dad’s age and I know
You’ve been gone six years come the end of August.
Oh, not really gone, I know,
just across the dimension,
so we cannot see you for now.
That is, all except for Dad, who sees
you in his dreams, then wakes up
wondering where you are.
He asks Joanne where you are,
and she, in grief, chokes back the tears
and tells him again as she did the day before,
that you have passed on, and he is
surprised that it has been so long.
He droops his head, looks weepy,
she has to turn away to keep from
crying in front of him.