chocolate is a verb

colors, flavors, whims and other growing things

Tag Archives: forgiveness

found poem: perseverance

found poem: endorse

April 15

Dorothy about 1944
Today is the ten-year anniversary of my mother’s death. Tax day 2003. Time’s sleight-of-hand elasticity makes the day seem a lifetime ago, then just a moment past.

Though I no longer expect her to be at the other end of the phone every time it rings, there are still moments, fleeting but acute, when I catch myself thinking I should call her, tell her some bit of news that she might or might not have comprehended in those last declining years.

I like to think of her as she was in this photo, taken not long before she met the man who would become my father. It’s a flirty pose and I can see that she feels pretty — something she struggled with her whole life. I wonder who was behind the camera, flirting back, that sunny day in, perhaps, Palm Springs.

The wounds she carried had been inflicted long before this picture was taken and they would never really heal. If they were mitigated by her budding relationship with my father, they were compounded by motherhood and she was never quite able to forgive me for that.

Now she’s ten years gone and, in this slow unwinding, in your patient audience, I chop through the thicket of time and memory to find the clearing in my heart where I am able to release my hold on her misguided mothering, to acknowledge my complicity in that sad dance and, finally, to forgive her.