The Daughter Remembers
I remember when you woke me, Mom, at 1 a.m., against all precedent,
to watch the shimmering red-blue aurora borealis and the dark night and stillness.
You wrapped me in a red-checked blanket and held me close, until I fell asleep against you, arms wrapped tight.
I remember when you divided the mums to cover the sides of our home…
and the lily of the valley.
I remember when you were the Queen of Moving
and could pack a house in two days because we moved so often.
I remember when we used to do the dishes you washed and I dried.
We sang, harmonized, did rounds.
I remember when you used to be so serious, and now such peace.
I remember times of determined ritual, and now no agenda—timelessness.
The Woman’s Mother Remembers (Speaking from Heaven)
I remember your smile, eyes sparkling.
I wished you to be obedient, unthinkingly obedient,
but your spirit flashed against mine.
Our voices rose, together, and my hand fell like a limb.
I remember the day I helped you memorize the Gettysburg address.
I thought you sounded just like Lincoln.
I remember you freely running through our orchard.
Talking with each tree.
And they talked back.
Child, up here, there is so much I remember for you.
Up in this place where there is no more to remember.