A Daughter's Lament
What do you see when you are looking at me?
What lives in your mind behind those eyes that watch
without a trace of recognition?
Do you remember the little girl you dressed in petticoats
and patent leather Mary Jane shoes?
Does the smell of her baby sweet flesh and the feel
of silky stands of golden hair sliding between your fingers
ever enter your mind?
Do you remember her years later with hair bobbed pixie style
her knees and elbows bruised and scratched, hanging from the limb of a tree,
betting all the boys that she can climb higher than they.
In that mind behind the watching eyes,
do you have a picture implanted of her in the years that followed
when boys began to gather round her like bees to honey.
Do you recall stories that she shared with you
in soft conspiratorial whispers and happy giggles.
Do you remember how you held her when sighs gave way to tears,
a tender heart broken forever...or so she thought.
In that place where I cannot reach you
do you remember a lovely vision in white...your angel
floating down the aisle on the arms of her father?
Does it bring back tears like those that you shed on that bright evening
when you had to loosen the ties that bound you to your firstborn?
Oh Mom, please tell me that somewhere in your secret thoughts
you remember the weight of a sweet boy child laid in your arms
only moments after the birth that you were there for;
this little man, your first grandchild, your future, your piece of immortality.
What do you see when you are looking at me
behind those eyes that watch without a trace of recognition.
Mom it hurts so to wonder and never be sure.
But heart to heart, soul to soul, I have to believe,
Though you may not know the woman who stands here today,
in your memory lives a daughter whom you loved and
whom you knew loved you in return.
When I first wrote this poem for my mother she was at the early stages of Alzheimers and was facing a long battle with this horrible disease that robs a person of their memories and personality. She was very sad at the prospect but throughout her illness, Mom never lost her smile or the twinkle in her eye. When all else was gone this allowed us to know that somewhere in there was the mother that we knew and loved.
Mom lost her courageous battle with Alzheimers on
February 7, 2012
Mom you may not have remembered us but we will always remember and love you.
Rest In Peace