My mother’s shawl-like poncho drapes softly around my body
Warming and hugging me like a womb of soft lamb’s wool
Warming and hugging me as though she were present
Resurrected into the mother hidden deep within her body
Plastered over with layers of pain and longing intermingled
Breathing deeply I feel the slight give and take of her shawl
Gingerly touching and enveloping me her first-born child
Her first helpless baby girl longing for the presence of her body
I’m still taken by surprise when small things trigger large feelings. This morning I put on my deceased mother’s well-worn poncho to ward off the chill in the air. It’s doing just that and more, as captured in the poem above.
Perhaps the sorrows of this world would be diminished if each of us could hold close at least one memory of a mother or surrogate mother loving and holding us. Even if that means wearing an old poncho or a bit of jewelry, or holding a photo close to our bodies. No one deserves to be a motherless child.
©Elouise Renich Fraser, 30 October 2018
Photo of four sisters taken in Savannah, Georgia, by JERenich, 1998, following Diane’s ALS diagnosis
From the left: Eileen (Mom) plus Ruth (Sister #2), Diane (#3), Elouise (#1) and Judy (#4)