Still Portrait, You and Me

Mother
modeled need
for beauty in all forms,
sharp use
of fine mind,
that pragmatics
trump all, so I rebelled
and am both Don Quixote
and Sancho.
And fashions that took me
years and years to grow into.
Oh, and control.
Mother.
Daughter.

Father
shared from bedside chair
under lamplight
through existential crises
under my covers,
“no use worrying
about things
you can’t change.”
Quick manna
that holds still.
And music. Music
came through him.

Brothers
showed me how sons
would be so alike
and different, too,
nature guy
and danger dude,
not so far from playing
Tarzan and Jane,
lamps and sofas
be damned, laughter
lingering decades
later. And how life
can take us far
from ones
we were once
close to.

Sons
grew me,
me the searching,
consumed,
so they are crystal clear
on who they are
and what
they don’t want. They taught
forgiveness,
and to savor
love that comes.
And loss of control.
Still.

Daughters-in-love
are revelations,
communications
into unknowable
futures to forever intrigue
me. Brave new
planetary jams
on individuality,
capability,
mystery.

With granddaughter
I begin again.
As young mother still
on the delivery table
a thunder roiled
through me, accord
with all creatures
who birth. Who knew
the earth would heave
like that
for me again
with her?

Meanwhile
husbands
have taught forgiveness, too,
constancy, and the power
of what’s unsaid.
The unconditional.
Still.

Poem #2 of 30 for National Poetry Writing Month April 2016

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