Friday, May 7, 2010
Memories of Mom
[I originally wrote this poem for Mothers Day 2008. I've been thinking of Mom quite a bit lately and thought it was time to repost.]
That Month of Three
In your arms, that month of three,
you held and loved and carried me.
Our blue eyes, our skin both fair,
your gaze told me you'd be right there,
by my side, through good and bad.
And oh what times, what times we had!
Trips away were so much fun,
more so with me, your oldest son.
We saw things that touched our heart
and laughed and laughed at stuff called "art."
We flew, we drove, saw it all
and took it in, both big and small.
When Dad left (men always go . . .),
I promised you, "Not me! No! No!"
You had hoped I'd be right there,
but knew deep down that wasn't fair.
"Go," you said, and with a smile
I went away for quite awhile.
School was far, so far away -
my hopes, my dreams to find one day.
Way out West, each week I'd phone,
"Please be careful," you'd intone.
"When will you come home again?"
"It will be soon, you'll see me then."
The empty nest, you did fill
with work and church and visits 'til
something came, took over you.
You struggled so with what to do.
"What is it?" you asked, "Will it stay?"
"It will," I knew but dared not say.
You knew too, but built a game
of cover, of lies, and of shame.
We cried, we fought, and we tried
to stop the loss, as mem'ry died.
"This road's dark, it's hard to see!"
"I'm right here Mom. Remember me?"
If I could, that month of three,
know all the pain you couldn't see,
I'd hold it close so deep within,
but you'd find out, and smile and grin.
"Let go, please. Give that to me.
Now, what's your name? My name's Jackie."
Photo: Jacqueline Austin MacEntee holding her three-month old son, Thomas James MacEntee, March 1963, Liberty, New York, digital image, private collection, [ADDRESS WITHELD FOR PRIVACY PURPOSES], Chicago, IL, by Thomas MacEntee.
© 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee