06 August 2017

Dandelion (for my mother's 92nd)


Once again I strive to meet 
A familial expectation.
Though in this smokey Northwest air
I shan’t risk inhalation.

Why I should be here not there
Confounds the mind and soul,
Shattering past illusions of
A life in my control.

The Hamilton reunion did
Require our extracting;
Our journey spanned the daylight hours
For two spent interacting.

For I felt the need to honorThose flying from out East,
Along with those who hosted,
With whom visits had decreased.

Such efforts beg the question:
How keep we justifying
Activities depleting
As somehow fortifying.

What does it mean to stand before
An aging grey relation
Who we have known since the days
That followed their gestation?

When TV sets were black-and-white,
When hi-fis had one speaker,
We said, “No, thank you” not “I’m good,”
And the “Jordan” was a “sneaker.”

It means that I came from somewhere,
A place I can rely on,
With roots that grow as deep
As the most stubborn dandelion.

And from this stem we flower;
May the wind convey our seed
To those who never did deserve
To live in such great need.

And the gift I have to offer,
Seeing value in the other,
Was one of many I received
By grace of my dear mother.