My mother asked me once why I didn’t invite her to my poetry readings. “My poems talk about sex and drugs and things I’d be embarrassed to say in front of my mother,” I said sheepishly. She nailed me with her glare. “Well, I knew enough to conceive you, didn’t I? Put that in your pipe and smoke it.”
This one, belatedly, is for her.
We greet each other now
on the ground of our vulnerability.
We still share the simplest pleasures:
silence like dark bread
we break and eat together
with a cup of clear water.
We thumb through this blurred
dictionary called mother and son
for a meaning you cannot remember
a sign I cannot see.
You pick a word for me like a blossom
from the magnolia tree:
We turn it on our tongues
to taste its fragrance
and that is enough.
We wait patiently
for the next flower to open.