Poems by Patricia Keough Wilson

07

It Was Just a Light in the Window – 9/07/2014

It was just a light in a window
but it was a specific window
and I was unprepared for
the wave of longing,
for my mom, the hunger
to turn, walk down the
short driveway, up the
three steps, across the porch,
turn right, open a door
and call out, “Hi, Mom.”
But she would not answer,
cannot answer, she is gone
to a place of peace and joy.
No more tears, no more sadness,
no longer ever alone to miss
her life’s love, my dad.
And I allow myself finally,
to let that private sorrow
loose from wherever it
was hidden, buried.
I wanted one more
time of scrambling out
of my car after miles
of travel just to walk
into her den, to see her
in her favorite chair,
looking up from a nap
or from a book, her smile
welcoming me, eyes sparkling,
as I lean over and kiss her
on the forehead and say,
“Hi, mom.”

It was just a light in a window
but I was unprepared.
I walked onto that huge deck
behind the two stall garage
to greet my oldest nephew,
amused and touched to see
him flipping hamburgers
at my brother’s grill.
Then someone asked,
“Does someone live there?”
I turned toward the light
in the window and swallowed
tears of loss and grief to reply
“Yes, an older woman,”
thinking, “but not my mom.”
I walked away,
crossed the street,
walked up another driveway,
onto another porch,
filled with family gathered
for the wedding of a niece.
So many there but not my mom.
It seems I should be over this
careful circling of where she
once was, or this terrible missing,
this aching to say one more, “Hi, Mom,
But it catches me unaware.
After all, it was just a light in a window.

 

 

 

 

 

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© 2014 Patricia Keough-Wilson