Monday, February 16, 2009

On Mother Love and Such

Saturday my adult son and I were seated at the kitchen table, hovering over our lap tops. I was blog-hopping and he was fantasy basketballing when I came across the lovely poem I now share with you. I read it aloud to him but had to stop three lines from the end because I got too choked up to go on. It happens, right? No big deal. I was just going to swallow and collect myself and finish it off, but it didn't turn out that way. In fact, it took me embarrassingly long to reach the point where I could even get the words out. Of course, he started making fun of me, which means he thought it was "cute." 

I am fortunate. My children are pretty tolerant of my "mom-ness."

Anyway, here's the poem:

Patricia Fargnoli

The children walk off
into crowds of strangers
their laces tied
their backs straight.
They wave to you
from platforms you cannot reach.
You want to hang on.
Running after them,
you thrust out small packages:
vitamins, a new blouse, guilt.
But they keep discarding
Your dreams for their own.
They carry admonitions
in their pockets
and their children will sing
your lullabies,
so that, finally, knowing this,
you let go.
They blur, fade.
You settle back.
The years pass, silent as clouds.
Sundays they come for dinner,
serve up slices of their lives,
but it’s not the same.
Sometimes, in a crowd,
you will catch a glimpse
of long braids,
a ribbon streaming,
and you will remember—-
a head beneath your hand,
a quilt tucked in,
small things snapping on a line.

Thanks, Patricia Fargnoli. You nailed it.


jen said...

This hits a little too close to home. My oldest is about to graduate from high school and leave for school in July. I can't seem to let myself see this far into the future.
Is it as painful as it looks from here?

Nikki Nichols said...

What a beautiful poem! Thanks for sharing Sue!

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