"You took yourself and your sweet breasts
from me and gave them to maggots."
--Attila Jószef, Belated Lament
After you pushed off,
I could never trust any one again.
I knew they'd leave
just like you did without saying good-bye,
packing your bags in the early morning
claiming you were on vacation, never telling me
for how long or where you'd planned to be staying
without frequent flyer miles.
And how many times did I call
for you to pick me up
while I waited with anxious hands folded over my knee
looking at each driver behind every wheel to see
if that were you turning the corner.
I lost count. You were a no-show.
I wondered why everyone else had a mother,
a sweet voice on a telephone.
Blame yourself for my ruined marriage,
all those years of being root bound to a man
who had turned into blue cheese,
his hands and feet crumbling away from me.
I kept trying to understand
what I was doing to make that happen.
Mother, I missed you more as an adult
than I did as a child.
This has been a big cover-up.
Authorities stamped your papers lost in transit,
an Amelia Earhart hallowing the Pacific.
I don't know what happened to your body,
to those warm hands that used to knead dough
on the kitchen table for your yeast cakes.
Everything is burned.
Gone is Grace.