Looking Through Stained Glass

Perfect Stranger
Older mother & middle-aged daughter walking away, arms around each other
Image: Older mother & middle-aged daughter walking away, arms around each other

I do love her still, for she’s still mother
Though oft she calls me by names of others
Her soft eyes remain, shining warm with care
The curves of her body, her graying hair
But her mind now slides from what’s really there

Her concave lips form that familiar smile
Like when she showed off her latest hairstyle
Even with loose curls each strand was in place
Particular to the point of basket case
Never walked out the door without her face

Made a clean home look easy to attain
My haphazard ways were always her bane
It gave her license for years to nitpick
My style she joked was an urban beatnik
But she loves my roast chicken with garlic

Her home now’s not what I thought would occur
But she’d gone beyond my means to help her
After jumping with haste to a rescue
When she tried to melt wax for a fondue
Insists utensils could be eaten too

She’s no longer the mother that I knew
Some days it takes all just to muddle through
I look at her and it’s my face I see
So it’s twice hard when she looks straight at me,
Then turns and asks 'And who are you sweetie?'

That I remind her of her little girl
Who fidgets wearing pinafore and curls
She’s the woman that once knew me so well
But if she knows me at all now I can’t tell
Yet I know her deeply, and that’s my hell

Roles reversed, she’s the one whose hair I comb
When I visit her at the nursing home
“See this pin my girl gave me yesterday?”
I was a child, it’s so old, even I can’t say
But for her, the years time has washed away

Seeing the pin makes me break down in tears
She coos “Oh miss, it can’t be that bad dear”
I fall in the familiar arms of hers
As everything becomes just one big blur
And I cry upon a perfect stranger

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© 2005 Raivenne (All rights reserved)

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