Elegy for a Damn Good Mother: An Explanation

We all hated it
that mom had a closet full of clothes
with the tags still on
shoes never worn
a set of wedding China
unused in the cupboards
a diamond tennis bracelet
worn approximately once
a home built for entertaining
never filled with guests
drawers of blank stationery
that never got the chance
to deliver her hopes or wishes
into the lives of those she called friends—
and I would like to say
she loved you all so much
she thought it impossible
that hers was a life that could matter—
that could deserve the fortune at her feet—
and it was her humility
that kept her from believing
she was worthy of absolutely every good
and wonderous toy
to wear
or show off
or entertain with —
she never believed that anything
she had to say would matter
so she was quiet or silent or meek
and always uncertain how to act
or how not to cry
when something tugged even softly
at her heart—
and this is what I loved
despite her idiosyncrasies
and her irrational self doubt,
her timidity,
her innocence:
I loved her love.
She was aware of the way it seemed
she didn’t care—
if her invitation wasn’t in writing,
if a phone call went unreturned,
or if she backed out of the afternoon plan
with an ache in her head—
she knew shy and insecure
could be mistaken for arrogant
or indifferent
but I promise you she was aware,
and hated,
the disconnect between her head and heart
that made it so hard for her
to show the love she felt—
to overcome the anxiety that overwhelmed her
overtook her
smothered her
convinced her she never did anything close
to good enough.
But I am pleased to announce
with confidence, certainty and authority
she was wrong.


Published by demarisgaunt

I currently live in Greenwood, Indiana. I love to listen to music, books on CD, podcasts or NPR as I work in my studio.  My favorite artists are Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper. I love poetry, but only the good stuff that isn’t so abstract I can’t understand it. Abstraction better lends itself to visual art, I think. Stephen Dunn is my favorite poet. He’s said just about anything that can be said about the inner workings of the heart and mind. My favorite novel is Atonement by Ian McEwan. My all time favorite band is The Cure. I love science, and anything that relates to how the mind works. I don’t believe in the supernatural. If I could meet anyone in the world, it would be Richard Dawkins or Steven Pinker. If you don’t buy my art or read my poetry, buy one of their books. It will enrich if not change your life.  My favorite things to do are hiking, kayaking and camping. My favorite food is so common, I’ll keep you in suspense (It starts with a P). I prefer chocolate to vanilla. Green is my favorite color. I have an aversion to planning or scheduling of any kind, and I live for spontaneous adventures! Telephone conversations make me anxious, and I avoid them at almost all cost. I had a happy childhood. I’m having a pretty fantastic adulthood. I have every intention of seeing my 100th birthday, after which I will happily relinquish my guts to the future of medicine. Cheers! ~DeMaris

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