“It is hard to miss you, per se” – Mother’s Day Poem and Reflection

It is hard to miss you, per se,
That is you as you are now,
A creature more full of wonder
Than ever you were here.
Though it’s thirty years gone
And people still will talk on
Of your generous regard
And lovely, lovely ways to them.

And yet there’s thirty years gone.
And though I have not always known it
I go on much like those teams go on,
Who bitterly, who grudgingly go on,
Who play the match in protest
Over some great perceived wrong.

And, yet, I also know that they and I,
We get it wrong. We get it all so wrong.
Pinching, curtailing, forestalling,
The joy to play at all.


Mother’s Day, 2016. You want it not to be a big deal, and sometimes it is not at all. And sometimes it is and you don’t even know it. And even on Facebook, where we seldom agree on how to be with each other on matters, folk truly get it. They know that a day as joyful for some is emotionally vexed and saddening for others. Even so, even with gratitude for folks’ kindness and care, the wishes, the pictures cannot help but stir things in one. It was not that alone that precipitated this little poetic reflection, however, but perhaps also my own sense of my living my life under protest, which I describe above.

In many ways, this poem is of a piece with my last post. And I am afraid, I suspect, that there will be more, in this year thirty years on from when my mother died in 1986. Ever since writing this poem many years ago in which I calculate the fraction of years spent without my mother, occasionally I revisit the fraction. This year it is 30/46, 15/23, or just shy of two-thirds. If any further reflections do come along, I will do my best to not make them maudlin and overly self-serving.


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