It’s the end of another Mother’s day. This time of year is always a little hard for me. Twenty five years ago in April I lost my mother after her long, drawn out battle with cancer. It’s still difficult sometimes, when I stop and think about it, but I know that the short time I had with my mother was more than some folks ever have.
This poem keeps coming out of the drawer over the years, and I keep whittling it down, or sometimes adding a line. I think I can say it is finally finished though. I post it here in her honor, and in hopes that if you have gone through this Mother’s Day without your mom, you might find something here that resonates with you.
And yes, dear friends, I can see that little courtyard needs a lot of work. I’m on it.
Angels at Home I live with cherubs in a ghost house of old luggage and former plans; walls dad stuffed with insulation, keeping winter out, surrounding us with a warmth that could have only come from you. I climb the stairway where you took a tumble with bones and bottles that might have broken, were it not for the troupe of guardian angels who shadowed your every step. I romp with your grandsons in the room where it all happened, where I was shuffled out the door when the doctor called, and dad wrapped his arms around you. I am monster, mustang, mountain now on the carpet where we danced "the bump," before the cancer bed ruled the room, and dad read the Bible to you in the dark. I pull my boys close, knowing they will never know the warmth of your breath on the back of their ears, the comfortable shelter of your lap. So I tell them your stories, read them books, croon "To-Ra-Loo-Ra" and "My little Buckaroo." Dad visits, inspecting new paneling and paint, nods approval of your favorite shade of blue. Josiah brings flowers from backyard weeds while his brother sleeps all day to wake us up at night. I've opened up the kitchen, but even all that extra light couldn't help me keep your plants alive. It's an art I would have liked to learn from you, along with other tricks you knew, like giving life, or hearing love when your man hasn’t said a word, or maybe conning death into granting a longer stay, dancing with your bags already packed as if you couldn’t give a damn, and leaving angels behind you when you went away. © David J. Bauman 2012