I forgot my toothbrush.
Damn. There’s no checklist for
What to bring the day
After your mom went to
Be with Jesus in the night.
She’s gone, but
Then there are these short films
Flowing between the bars of
Sadness, small reasons to smile
Around the tears.
The different kind of tears,
Joy only, no room for sorrow, when
Katy burst into our world,
Screaming and crying tears of her own—
Mom’s first grandchild.
Then the same scene a few years apart,
Little people vaguely resembling
Winston Churchill invade us again and again, and
There’s mom, more joy-tears flowing for
Bob and for Kelly. Glory moments gone
But forever part of me.
Another vignette: She in her red dress for
My wedding day. More joy tears. But then
There she isn’t, in the purple dress she
Wanted to wear for Katy’s wedding day.
But it does not honor her memory to
Remember what never will be.
I must blink that away, wipe away the
Not-joy tears she didn’t want me to shed.
I know, I know, this isn’t
Really the end, she’s in a body now that’s
No longer racked with pain,
No longer breaking down, she’s
There with God and all the dogs we’ve
Ever loved who’ve gone before, and
Maybe a cat, but that’s
Not helpful now because she’s
Beyond my reach.
And now a soundtrack for the short film:
Oh how she loves her teddy bear, with
Chocolate eyes and cinnamon hair.
That was me.
It is me
As her melody flows through
My mind again for the first time in years.
Not haunting, but
Not comforting either.
David K. Carpenter
March 30, 2018
In Loving Memory of My Mom,
Nancy B. Carpenter
Copyright © 2018 by David K. Carpenter