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Although I speak in the first person in the poem, I am writing on the unsanctioned behalf of another family member.  I loved my Mother dearly and treated her with heartfelt respect.

I hadn't noticed them when she was well— The deep creases in Mother's face. Now as she lay dying, they told a tale Of selfless service nothing could erase. In one crease I saw myself at age four Crying out at night for her wearied embrace. My teen disrespect was there—and more. Each crease disclosed another disgrace. Affronts of all kinds were in the creases, I had sculpted them with foul disfavor. The shame I now own seldom ceases Just as Mother's love would not waiver. Before she goes, I confess my sorrow For having acted as an ungrateful son. Balm of Gilead could I but borrow And apply it to her creases one by one.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2014

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