I wondered what it must be like
To cry when you have a glass eye.
It was only a passing thought,
You know, the way you do.
She suffered a mild stroke last year,
They said Mom had just stopped talking.
At first she tried to tell us that
She hadn't had a stroke,
She couldn't relate how it caused
Her glass eye to loosen in its socket.
But when I'd gone to visit her
In hospital, I saw, and then I knew
What had happened; I took it all in
As she blithely sat up in bed eating.
It was months before she said it
And she said it yesterday
While we dined on Cantonese.
Driving the freeway I'd missed the turnoff.
It's then while she sat next to me Mom said
"You know, sweet pea, since the stroke,
It takes longer to get my mental map up".
Though the stroke left its ravaged effects
More evident with each passing month,
Mom looked quite lovely when I came
To take her to pick up the prosthetic.
She emerged, beaming, with a new glass eye
That matched her light hazel one perfectly.
I tried not to be obvious
As I watched her delighted reaction,
Laughing in a way I'd never heard;
The girl of Mom's own youth long gone.
At the restaurant after dinner
Our talk turned to a quiet poignancy.
I shared with her my own struggles,
And she, her thoughts on mortality.
She'd forget, mostly recent things
Like when she last made peanut brittle
Or was I at the barbecue
(Of course I was, I brought the coleslaw).
Her memories way back from childhood
Were indelible, where we all come from.
I noticed the more Mom talked,
The further back her sentiments.
We joked, she brightened, grinning wide,
Eyes dancing from that ravaged face
That turned into my grandmother's,
And I told her so!
She always looked like herself,
But yesterday, sitting across from me
In the booth by the street window
With the light from late afternoon.
I saw her as a moving portrait,
Small & frail. But her smile, and that laugh.
Then Mom spoke of her mother's last days,
Lifting her chin, trying not to cry.
That's what made me wonder
What it must be like.
Poet's note: My mother was blinded in one eye during childhood and had finally received a prosthetic in her senior years.
Written by Jade-Pandora
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