Mothers are oceans;
they have unfathomable depths.
My mother lost her mother
too long ago for me to know anything
of her but her children & husband’s recollections;
I know little of my grandmother,
save from photo albums in our basement.
My mother feels her absence deeply, I suspect.
Moms are fickle things;
we only know them as they are now,
not who they were when they were younger,
if we were lucky enough to know them at all.
Looking through a meticulous scrapbook of my her childhood,
I learned more about my mother as a woman,
and not as “Mom”.
The more I see,
the harder she is to read.
This year I’m away at school,
and I’ve taken up the habit to ask her,
“how is Noreen?”
“how are you, Mom?”
while on the phone.
It’s a not slight,
nor so much an
“oh, I’m an adult now, so I’ll call you by your first name”
as it is that I am asking her how she is
as a person
separate from her mothering identity.
I’m named after my grandmother.
As often as I am proud,
“I was the grandchild named in her honor”
I am afraid, too.
The name is heavy.
There is a weight to this bequeathed crown,
the etymology matters less than
her appellation is my inheritance.
My mother’s patience and imagination
balanced truly remarkably
with her diligence and industriousness.
I will never understand how she has accomplished everything she has;
and has kept her head, too.
I would like to thank you for your kindness,
your hair-stroking (and coloring),
and for that time we sat in the great big refrigerator box in the front yard,
eating something out of the carton.
Thank you for your faith in me,
thank you for your trust,
and your love.
I love you, too.
You are wonderful,
and will always be wonderful,
and a wonder,
in my book.
I will never reach your sea-floor
and uncovered all your opal hopes and quiet desires,
but in my book,
you’re always a favorable character,
tough, and beautiful,
vulnerable and valiant.
I want to watch Brave with you, again.
I think you are more like Merida,
and I’m Elinor.
Lots & lots & garden plots
♥ love ♥
photographic edits 9 June 2016