Friday, October 18, 2013

Another Conversation with My Mother

13 October 2013

A vivid dream-vision wakes me:
I am working at my computer
When you come to me, thin, in your nightgown,
As you were in your final  illness last year.

I turn awkwardly; you hug me and
I feel your bony shoulders poking through.
“I love you”, you say, more than once,
Making sure I understand.
                                                   “I love you, too.”
I say, and do  know this is true.

Then you say: “I want you to understand this too:
You are the culmination”.
                                                   Then you’re gone.
I awake in the dark; it’s not even one am.

What does this mean?, I ask your absence:
Was that Culmination with a capital C?
Or some commonplace, lower case culmination?
How each of us carries all who have gone before;
How the self I am now culminates my earlier selves.

I think again of my father, seven years gone:
Wise, caring peace-maker, with ready humor.

As I wend my way through the many complexities
Of friends, family, colleagues and clients;
Impossible work-loads and interpersonal tangles,
I pray for courage, love and wisdom.

For most of my life, I’ve been brash and direct,
More clever than wise, defensive, jealous,
Moved by fear more than love.

Now, however, there’s something emerging
That’s more and more like my father.
And you of all people, living or dead,
Can see the full moon behind the clouds.

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