Mother Update, for My Brothers

She knows who I am. She even knows when I wonder

if she knows, and she needn’t remember what she is,

another living being, what help to know

 

who, precisely?  Why? She’s lost face and space, the dates

the night, and surrenders to the drapes that open

everyday when what we used to call the light comes in.

 

She may not recognize the color blue but she knows beneath,

below, there is a soothing something out there when we are wheeling

by the sea. She wouldn’t spell it right or think for long what color is,

 

but feelings of rooms and walls do make a difference and she’s accepted

that her mind flickers like a silent movie. She’s given up

frustration for the most part, traded words for breath. Yesterday

 

could be tomorrow for all she thinks but does it matter if objects

have no names, or Monday’s Tuesday, and one’s existence

not worth pondering? Her simpler seeing eases what once cluttered

 

into fear of insult, weights of worry. She knows her mind’s

betrayed her and doesn’t tamper with the motors

of her body that have faded into other arms that lift and sit her

 

like the dolls she gave Deena and me in that other dream time.

All is smaller and more quiet but she appreciates the jacarandas,

watches as I water, place them on the table. There is contentedness

 

sometimes, busyness, still. She pleats the edge of her tablecloths

and blouses, pleats and wraps the cookie in a napkin for the gift it is.

Her eyes say thank you though her voice cannot

 

for the two sparkling slippers softening her feet; though feet,

might meet and nod, the word itself, won’t mean a thing.

She understands a gesture made from tenderness

 

though neither of us bother with the word for it.

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