Mother's Day 2013
Mari Maxwell

You left on the flakes of a winter storm
Roads impassable, buses and trains halted.
A nation stilled.
Swish and swoosh of traffic left.
Like you.
A little breath, a smile, while they contemplated
their strategy, you knowing yours.
Ready at last.

Then you were gone.
A late afternoon whisper.

It's the smile I held onto Mom.
Your gentle soft breath in my own hospital bed.
Close to heart.
Soothed by the steady aftershocks
as your dying spirit left.
Feathers in air, in the gentle hand that
patted the surgical hat upon my head.
Later you were there Mom.
Amid the women, sharing goat's cheese salads,
starters and dessert.
Yes, even tea.
Dining à la carte above the Galway motorway,

while consultants remained stranded

and snow collected on the windowsills.
We yapped into the dawn.
Other mothers revolted by country and kin.
Repulsed at those pledging to have your interests at heart.
Renouncing you so. Quashing me so.

Now I stand in my kitchen
Awaiting the baking, the saucepans their rattle.
And you are here, Mom.
A hand upon my shoulder. A brush against my cheek.
I steep my arms in sudsy water,
watch my veins protrude as in decades past
yours once did.
I too cry silently into the steam,
the clouded kitchen window.

Oh time it goes so swiftly
Three Mother's Days ago.
And justice and truth it cometh slow.
But ah, it does. Little chinks in the Connemara night sky.
I fight on Mom.
Even more so now.
A change collects
this year of The Gathering.
Sweeping, igniting the nation.
Women - and men - like you and me
cleaving paths not trodden before.
And we're heading to Europe Mom.
Giving up on Irish laws and Irish ways.
Demanding voices be heard.
And we will not be silenced in European corridors.
We have learned from generations such as yours.
The stoic ones, the ones who made do. Who bore
what we cannot.
We will change these laws, reform these systems that
stifle, annihilate.
We are one and many Mom.
Gathering momentum
in the dust you've left behind
Each of us channelling anguish and betrayals
fuelling us to new tomorrows.
So those that come behind have something
In their dark days ahead.

I stand in my kitchen, hungry,
Yet not.
Baking a dinner I've no appetite for.
Comforted by the solace in the shopping bag beneath.
Chocolate to sooth.
A biscuit for the cuppa
you and me will share
Our time together
Once more.
With my one sided conversations
Above the brimming teapot
For one.
One voice.
And the echoes of generations.
Tearing the ramparts down.


World Elder Abuse Awareness Day UN Declaration of Human Rights European Year for Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity Towards a Society for All Ages