a poem visiting a moment after the death of my father
My mother was
Up to her elbows in dish water,
Her voice husky
As she stared out the window at the evening traffic
Or at nothing.
I stood next to her, drying while she washed.
My father gone but a few short years,
It was Christmas
And the memories tugged at her apron strings,
Pulling her back to grief.
"I wish I had a basketful of ironing
The calm assurance of routine,
Chores worn into her fingers,
Her tired face.
I could say nothing just then
But felt the tears well up.
I put my arm across her shoulders,
For just a moment.
She glanced at me, saw my tears.
"Oh, honey. I'm sorry."
"It's okay Mom."
Though we both knew it wasn't.
But would be someday.