Rebirthing Mother       123456789 • [10] • 11
Christie Logan

Veiled Woman #4

My mother was a veiled woman
who is being revealed to me

who has come back to me
after 27 years of mourning her
      no, more than 27
      I mourned her before she died

the loss as fresh as yesterday

I felt her loss because her presence
was so inviting,

so loving, so welcoming;
delighting in you,
finding you amazing

The pull of her
we gravitated to her
she was the center of everything

we watched her
couldn’t take our eyes off her

wanted to be next to her
in her orbit
      she was Galileo’s sun
      and we the proofs of his theory

      supplicant planets
      five moons that existed for her
      because of her

Her children learned love from her
unconditional love —
how to love unconditionally
her face opened up in forgiveness
so easily
she forgave everyone
but herself.
      Who taught her that?

Did she know what she gave us?
That it was she who,
for each of us in different ways,
made all the difference?

we all came to adulthood
capable of love, forgiveness, hope
did she take any credit?
It was all to her credit.
Did she ever know?
      Did any of us ever tell her?

The last Christmas in Phoenix
six months before she died
she was so proud of all of us
of who we’d each become

made us feel like prized possessions,
we were accomplishments
she took no credit for

She saw a woven family
five loving children
and thought it was all done without her
for us she was the center of it all,
the family’s heart and soul

we always knew – even when the drinking
sent her into the haze,
into her room,
away to yet another treatment center —
we always knew how much she loved us

Why was she afraid
she didn’t love us enough?
      Who told her that? Who made her believe that?

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