Mom's Story

HIDE AND SEEK
(9/29/05)


once
when a child
I played a game
not with my mother
but at her expense

she had taken me
grocery shopping
and with a school friend
whom I ran into
as an accomplice
I hid from her
to the point
of frustration

she left
after checkout
to move the car
in the parking lot
faking a departure
then coming back in
to find me glued
to a window
searching
for her
in tears

years later
as she was dying
from brain cancer
and hallucinations
began filling her days
she once became
very upset with me
when driving her home
from a shopping trip
wondering how
I could leave
the little boy
who had come
with us
behind

alone

the child
of course
being only
in her mind
but no consolation
from me would
convince her
otherwise

later
at her place
she was over her anger
and thought that children
were playing upstairs
and instead
worried
where everyone
would sleep

when I tried
to explain
that we
were the only two
in the house
she gave me that
long-suffering look
of a mother
putting up
with a son's
stubbornness

I left
my mother
in that state

alone

but she
did not realize
that fact

unfortunately
I didn't just
move my car
then come back inside
to make things
better

if I had it
to do again
I would have
certainly stayed
to help her sort out
the sleeping
details

but
to me
at the time
it seemed
so crowded
in that place
that I needed
to get back
to my home
where I could wait
in selfish
solitude

once again
at a window
looking
for my
mom