I haven't had to buy a card
or make a phone call
on a Mother's Day
for going on a
decade and a half.
The day has since been
a moment to remember
the last moment.
The last gift I ever gave her.
One more wound on
Mothers and daughters
have complicated relationships.
What we have in common with
all the daughters and the mothers
is a complicated womanhood.
That keeps us, in the end,
willing to pity the one with whom
we push and pull.
The last gift I gave my mother
was presiding at her funeral.
As my silent siblings and a few
I shoved my bare hand into
her ashen remains and spread
her on the grave of her 2nd husband.
I carried the rest of the ashes in a plastic
tub to her gravesite next to my father.
I said some words scribbled on a yellow note pad.
I spoke of the complicated woman, the burdens
she bore including us children.
I said that no matter the memories or
the scars of the relationship there was still dignity in her
unique place in our lives.
I said that dignity will never be taken from her.
It was the first time I walked away from my mother
And still whole.
Our complicated God understands and loves us both.
Peace be with you.
Peace be with all for whom Mother's Day is complicated.