Thursday, August 8, 2013

Her Birthday Today . . .

I have been trying to recall how my mother and I spent last year's birthday. If she were here, she would tell me vividly what we ate and how happy the gifts made her (regardless of how mundane they might be). She could remember tiny little details from most every day because such things were important to her.

Here it is six months to the day since she passed and I can't remember how we celebrated her last birthday. And that frustrates me. I can recall the usual things like the sound of her voice and how she cheered "Happy birthday!" every year. But I want to remember what we talked about, the jokes I'm sure we told each other. The last hugs.

I did manage to find a grainy video from her birthday in 2010.

You would think it was easy to celebrate her birthday because she was so easy to please but that just made me want to figure out better ways to show that I cared. How do really honor someone who showed boundless patience and understanding regardless of how things were going for her?

I'd like to tell her that everything is okay or at least that I am taking care of things as best I can. Every day is different and some things don't work out right. If I could recapture more of her spirit it would make the tough days a bit easier.

It's raining something fierce right now. I suppose that's good. It means the last of her flowers will keep blooming.

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Flame and Bone

When I was made from fire
Poured into the tender vessel of caution
That keeps my smoke from rising
Quickly did I discover that apart from crisp drizzles or falling snow
The world chilled my touched
Walking the narrow cornered gap between girders and cut stone
One learns to tuck his shoulders in or risk
Jostling a neighbor passing by rapt with want
For a clear path without the distraction
Of another man's boiling eyes
The tip of a finger
That oldest of all weapons
Grown deadlier and pristine in its invention
Gathers a mote of a cinder on its bare flesh
And turns pondering how best to scratch the impious itch
Prying open the tender seam
Where the oil of thought dews
Offering a new wick to ignite
Squirming alive as a salamander of mischief
That yearns for a taste of air it is so ready to devour
The steam of breath betrays me
Before the glint of orange spreads
In popping bright waves
Eroding the fibers feeding it
Leaving naught but ash
As my shell of quietude falls away