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Tuesday, April 29, 2014


My mother died when I was quite young,
not totally unexpectedly, but suddenly,
and my childhood came to an abrupt end,
the rest of my days filled with righteous anger,
always just below the surface, uncontrollable at times.
I saw her once more, nine years later,
the two of us together,
floating between this world and the next,
watching from above as young men
rushed to save me.
I trust that memory,
but I lose a micro-amount of it
each time I speak of it,
each time I write of it.
If she had lived, she’d be in her 90’s now,
my idealized notions of how it could have been
long tainted by reality.
Not big on living with regrets, I do miss some things,
the biggest being how happy she would have been
with the quality of my life, the beauty of my wife.
Oh, she would have been crushed by
that Viet Nam thing,
but what is a life with no bruises, no bad decisions.
She would scold me, I am sure,
for being a man of plenty who has always felt poor,
but she would applaud the way I have always
found a way to eventually give birth to happiness.
I would not have wanted to see her
grow old and infirm, arthritis-riddled, bed-bound,
but if I could see her for just one more day,
it would be to hold her and squeeze her
and give her the decades of I love you’s she missed.
And that I missed as well.

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