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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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Another Portrait of My Mother

 

                                                                                               

A young Mnemosyne, she worked

in her husband’s business, calling

thousands of clients without looking

up their numbers.

 

Later, she took care of loved ones:

father with Alzheimer’s,

daughter with Down’s syndrome,

son with schizophrenia.

 

Her memory never wavered;

even at ninety-seven,

she knew the score on relatives and friends,

Notre Dame, Vikings and Twins, the Orchestra.

 

Dying, poised backwards and forwards,

she instructed us to mind those left behind.

She’d face those ahead of her:

parents, siblings, husband, even grandchildren.

 

A Janus gate, we mused through her.

 

                                                ―Marge Barrett