Good Life

Letting Go

Now that she is old,

Now that my mother is stooped and bowed,

We need to find our peace.

Now that her eyes are childlike and dim,

Now, when her fears are like wolves within,

Now, she needs release.





I picture a child with its head on my breast,

A child who wants little in life but to rest,

Who hears not my words

But the tone of my voice which can

Sooth or admonish,

And I’m driven to say to

My God and my mother,

This is not the end I would wish.





This letting go

While she is still present,

These talks on the phone with my mother

Who’s absent,

And here in her place is the knot of a tree

That is hard and unyielding,

And would take hours and hours to burn.





I would like nothing more

Than to hold her, to comfort,

But to stop and let go, to let in the fact

That she’s pacing and pacing

With no place to go

Would be brutal.





So we walk and we talk

And the topics grow smaller.

Our link grows contentious and we

Fight underneath all the words.

Because she is my mother and

I am her daughter





And we cannot give in to

The truth that

We’re saying good-bye.





Give me a sign, God, of real peace

Here, present,

Which we’ll taste with dumb tongue,

See with blind eye,

Hear with deaf ears,

And hold with frail fingers,

Thin, gnarled twigs on a tree.

Now that she is old,

Now that my mother is stooped and bowed,

We need to find our peace.

Now that her eyes are childlike and dim,

Now, when her fears are like wolves within,

Now, she needs release.





I picture a child with its head on my breast,

A child who wants little in life but to rest,

Who hears not my words

But the tone of my voice which can

Sooth or admonish,

And I’m driven to say to

My God and my mother,

This is not the end I would wish.





This letting go

While she is still present,

These talks on the phone with my mother

Who’s absent,

And here in her place is the knot of a tree

That is hard and unyielding,

And would take hours and hours to burn.





I would like nothing more

Than to hold her, to comfort,

But to stop and let go, to let in the fact

That she’s pacing and pacing

With no place to go

Would be brutal.





So we walk and we talk

And the topics grow smaller.

Our link grows contentious and we

Fight underneath all the words.

Because she is my mother and

I am her daughter





And we cannot give in to

The truth that

We’re saying good-bye.





Give me a sign, God, of real peacehere, now present,

Which we’ll taste with dumb tongue,

See with blind eye,

Hear with deaf ears,

And hold with frail fingers,

Thin, gnarled twigs on a tree.

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