April is National Poetry Month! I’ve dug down deep for this one, written for my Mom at least 30 years ago when she was the age that I am now.
For My Mother and Other Collectors of Strays I want you to contradict me. When I shiver in my cavernous apartment complaining that autumn has never been so rainy, winter has never been so cold; I want you to contradict me to discern a cycle to show me a pattern. Instead you give me your past like a brightly colored patchwork quilt. Why can’t you pull together the threads of your six decades and offer them to me like a panoramic tapestry where land, sea, and sky are neat, separate, and distinct. Please forgive me my impatience. I still call myself young though I near an age when youth cannot be blamed for foolish ambition. Still I do know that your outstretched palm contains ridges and furrows that offer refuge to yellow and gray cats mongrel dogs long-tailed possums. I too call our time together a sanctuary: evenings of minted tea dogeared novels tales of European history. You give easily, freely though you wordlessly ask one condition: that I and my generation renounce complacency. For how can one be complacent when there is a stray cat who needs a warm basket to curl up in? Photo by Roberto H on Unsplash