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.