For my mother, on Mother’s Day.
I saw you the other day,
As I caught my reflection while out for a walk.
My hair, now the length yours was for much of my life,
& with Clinique lipstick on nearly a match to the shade you favored.
As I passed you — well, me — I felt my hand almost instinctively raise, reaching out toward you, but a reflection is impossible to grasp
& soon enough I was only myself again.
So often when I walk on the city streets
I still, all these years later, remember the promise we made to one another, of the dream of us in Chicago together,
No longer tethered together by your oxygen tank I’d carry on my shoulder for you.
No cords to follow,
Mother — daughter — together.
“When I get my new heart,” you said,
“When I get my new lungs.”
Sometimes a promise can be broken no matter how badly you want to keep it.
So instead I’ll take the moments of seeing you reflected back to me
& dream to see you one day again, somehow.
As Mary Oliver wrote,
“Is it necessary to say any more?”