A change in status

January morning 2014

At this moment,
I have been alive
sixty years,
seven months,
twenty-six days,
twelve hours
and twenty minutes.

In all that time, I have never been a motherless child.
That status will soon change.

A new poetry journal arrived in the mail yesterday
and the first poems I read
were by poets grieving
for mothers who had died.
I felt the universe open a little wider.

We are dancing the dance
of the in-between-
light and shadow,
this room
and the place of angels.

Why is it that on first writing, I write
and not

my spirit moves from room to room
as I sit next to her bed
in stillness.

The dying regard the standard conventions of etiquette
of not much use when going about the business
of dying.
The lessons she teaches
to the very end,
always my mother.

9 thoughts on “A change in status

  1. Hello, I just started following you and found the link to your blog from Sarah Whiteley’s Ebbtide blog. I’m so glad I did. I’m a couple of years, some months and days younger than you and just lost my mother this last September. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, so this poem touches me deeply. I don’t know you, of course, but I send out compassion and understanding to you.

    I am just now, at this age, starting out on the adventure of writing and am new to blogging. I’ve written a few poems about my mother that greatly helped my grieving process. There is much to say about putting those words down in print.

    Best to you,

  2. My friend, this is beautiful. They teach us right up to the end – and beyond. Listen for the lessons, for they will find you through this first unfolding of a spring missing her physical voice – though I am certain her spirit-voice will find you. This is a truly beautiful and heartrending poem. I loved it.

  3. This is so poignant and, as I see it, sacred. In my life, I’ve had the privilege of keeping watch at the deathbed of, I would guess, hundreds. There is so much to learn in that act of loving. I can guess how difficult this is for you and you are all in my thoughts and prayers.

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