SHORTS: mother | pt. 2

my mother told me on her last birthday

that she would be fine leaving this world

at her current age of 55.

In fact, it’s always been a dream of hears

to depart on this midlife anniversary.

my heart turned to look at her

and was shocked

by her furrowed brow

and dulled blue eyes,

no longer wild and stormy like the ocean

but smooth and pale like weathered stones,

a question in them where there used to be

ferocious certainty.

my eyes are listening to a foreign language

looking at my mother like this

trying to understand:

where did that all that vigor go?

When you’re parent surrenders,

does that mean you give up fighting, too?

Or maybe, now it’s my your

to take up the torch —

the one she carried for 26 years —

and fuel that fire again.

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