Dear Mom – “Angels at Home,” a Poem by DJB

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
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13 Replies to “Dear Mom – “Angels at Home,” a Poem by DJB”

  1. Really nice, David. It stirs my own sense of loss, the loss of my father when I was just a young teenager. That longing to know things from your parent is tough… it’s been 42 years since my father died, and I still long to know so many things.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Like

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