her hand

It is heartbreaking
going through long-forgotten
scraps of paper
left in the car I carelessly
let collect dust
curbside in West Adams.

I squirrel these away;

my mother’s handwriting
fills me with the indescribable–
the care perceptible in
the curves of each number
describing the amount spent
feeding our family

the notes she would write
trying to lay out the
words of wisdom, support,
encouragement, love
that my ears were never
patient enough to hear,
words that my too-quick
tongue would lash back at.

I look at these,
treasure them,
try to hold and remember

my mother’s hand.

2 thoughts on “her hand

  1. beautiful. funny how we daughters cherish our mothers so much when we are away and then are so quick to disregard them when we’re close. at least that’s how i feel now. guess that’s not so funny.

  2. mary, don’t forget we sons as well :]
    reminds me of the movie, “saving private ryan,” and the short, nostalgic scene with wade (the medic) in a church. all heavily paraphrased, but he mentions, “i remember my mom used to work almost all day and halfway through the night. she would come home and everytime i heard her walk through my bedroom door i would close my eyes and pretend i’m asleep. she would sit on my bed, and just stare at me. she knew i was awake but was waiting for me to acknowledge her…. i don’t know why i did that.” interestingly enough, later on in the movie a bullet lodges into his belly and he screams, “momma, momma, i want to go home i want to go home, momma.”

    anywho, to allude to all this, do what you have to do to survive, but don’t forget the individuals that have carried you on their backs from birth onwards. took me awhile to figure that one out…

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