* * *
Before you think you can put a finger on love,
Think of the time you saw the size of the butter stick
in your mother’s pie.
Think about how all your life,
you’ll work hard enough to make your mother proud,
Yet, you’ll look up to see if the whole world has taken notice.
Think of your teenage self when you wanted to distance yourself
from your mother,
Only to now appreciate her nagging madness.
Think of those who’ve journeyed from somewhere
to now stand and stare at you in disgust at the library.
Or those whose last breath is evaporating in a crash.
Think of those people who fix their broken cars all alone,
on the side of roads in heavy rain,
Or those who seem lost while staring out of moving cars and buses.
Think of those who eat from boxes on gas station benches at noon,
Hanging onto their phones looking up for a nod or
An imperceptible wave that might come their way.
Think of the girl who’s going through confirmation in her Catholic church,
So you can tell her these lessons are just seeds,
kill them or let them blossom into the person you’ll be.
Think of the children who forgive us for our distractedness anyway,
And of a mother’s visible force that shapes our destiny,
Whose betrayal is more violent than the worst jihad.
Now, think of the son who blew up soldiers at a check post
for a cause he’s not sure will give him virgins.
Or who is under 6 feet of snow after his stupid ski adventure trip.
Think of those who find out that a small infection
could kill only when it ended their mother’s life.
Or a friend at 45 who’s now a mother after planting her womb in another woman.
Think of those who failed to climb the Everest
even while the highest peak of exhilaration was within their hearts.
Or who now seek peace in the mundane because life has taught them better.
Think of the home you just passed by,
with an old mother in bed all by herself,
Longing for company and seeking it in her past.
Now think of your mother, even if you lost her in your crib,
Only if you had her in your life,
wouldn’t all these emotions make perfect sense?