Mothers Never Die; They Just Go Into Hiding

In truth, a graveyard lies not a mother.

Mothers never die. They simply go into hiding.

And like a childhood daze, it’s up to me to seek.

While her ashes may be miles away,

Mother’s hiding closer than it seems.

I find Mother in how I ball my socks,

or when there’s too much salt in my pasta,

or when my room is not a total wreck.

I find Mother whenever I hear Streisand,

or as I catch a movie with a Friend in it,

or when I’m lazy to wash up at night.

I find Mother in crosswords, in cross-stitching,

in strawberries and blueberries,

in omelettes, in cats, in Oil of Olay.

I find Mother within pages of Sontag,

whom she both really likes and dislikes,

in very Sontag fashion.

I find Mother when there’s a story dying to be told,

or when there’s a new sitcom she’d definitely like,

or when I spot things white people do differently.

I find Mother when I call grandma,

or when my writing is “too depressing”,

or every time I open the window to where I am now.

I find Mother when there’s a compassionate choice,

or before making rash decisions based on pure whimsy,

or that moment before sleep as I wish her good-night.

I find Mother in family and friends and

those who helped on her last few days and

those whose lives were touched.

I will find Mother on every performance

at the front row of all my shows,

or when I publish my first book,

or land my first “real” job,

or get a real boyfriend,

or at Christmas as I light the candles,

or when I do my post-grad,

or when I raise a toast on her birthday,

or on my wedding —

— she’ll initially disapprove of the guy,

of course, but she’ll treat him as a second son–

or when I tell my kids of grandma

and what a wonderful woman she was

or when I raise those kids with the same

love she has raised me.

I find Mother everyday.

Because as long as I live

So does Mother.

In memory of Maida Mariano 10-Dec-2014.