A red, green and white Christmas embroidery hangs
year-round in her living room. Long, narrow,
it spells out a word she says occasionally
as we slog through our daily exercise routine;
one written frequently, she tells me, in her journal;
a three-letter word to which I never gave thought
until now, when I am running out of time to learn.
Like the butterfly soaring for the first time
into summer skies, the hooked fish released
to dart again through the river of its home,
my mother lives with joy.
I want the same.
However, I’m my father’s daughter
and worries fuel my sleepless nights;
perfection punctures success, and the suffering
of others shatters any hope for even happiness.
Joy is as elusive as the red fox of the forest.
Outside her bedroom window, we watch
the robin, plump with eggs, flit between fence
and berries. The vines of a parasol plant,
leaves glossy, blossoms red and plentiful,
wander playfully in all directions. The pond
is disappearing, as are her beloved ducks,
but the encroaching cattails provide cover
for the families of serenading wrens
and rambunctious red-winged blackbirds.
So much for which to be grateful, she reminds me.
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The Ideal Gift
Tiny Treasures, a collection of wildflower photographs and poetic prose, available by clicking on the Purchase Products button below.
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