Okay, hazyshadeof, here's my attempt to ressucitate this thread. Don't know why, but hot men/women trumps art every time.
This piece is certain not Dylan Thomas, but it's decent enough to be posted here.
Why Does My Mother Cry?
is a poem
of bottomless words
rubbed raw by age.
In the high cold of winter, heat turned down low, my mother sits on the sofa, tight as a coil and gritting her teeth over my latest mishap. She clenches and unclenches her hands, managing only fistfuls of loose air -
stupid, ungrateful brat, how can you stand to see your mother cry
Tears runnel down the corners of her eyes in a profound accusation.
Her tears are not silent, but have been wrenched from somewhere deep inside her body, and thus have all the vehemence of a knife cutting through something soft. Occasionally, her eyelids flutter and she falls into exhausted withdrawal, but her tears do not cease. These are the tears that carry her closer to oceans, where salt-sprays will either drown her or offer her release in the form of forgiveness and confession.
And yet you, unlucky intruder, asks why my mother cries.
I know. I have translated her traumas for years. My mother cries because I am no longer the shadow at her skirt, hiding my head in the silken folds of her all-encompassing love. Instead, I am like the fallen apple that has torn itself away from the familiar comfort of the tree, rolling amidst dislodged stones and bald hills, conquered by the drifting winds. Mired in aspirations she finds foreign, chasing voices she cannot hear, I am undeserving of the nearly two decades’ excess which she has lavished upon me. My waywardness sits upon her brow like an unexpected complication about to harden into another wrinkle, and disappointment darkens her face: a well-worn map charted by Aspirin and stress.
She cries because when I say sorry, it is not nearly enough. Unresolved guilt fires out of the hollow of her breast, and she swallows mouthfuls of litany:
please forgive me, for once more I have failed.
My mother’s eyes spill a lifetime of regret: her history wrung out in measures. She cries because her father’s gait is uneven and broken by years of toil, his body decaying in the fumes of poverty. She cries because her mother is harnessed to the wheelchair by a stroke, her ravaged hands gnarled, unlovely things - like old, twisting vine. She cries not because she can’t help them, but because she is too petrified to become entangled in their fate. Sitting there- in their small flat with the peelings walls - watching beloved lives erode, she burns to be gone. And it grates on her to know that no matter how much she searches for the fit of their familiar arms, she will never be the first they embrace. My grandparents’ irrational dotage on the hapless, the stumbling had been kindled in the womb, and Uncle has always been the weaker.
(From beyond these labyrinthine walls of emotions sounds the echo of the calcified past, where a young man wearing a green soldier’s cap and a young woman with slim nurse’s hands are held captive, their laughter too thin to be carried over on the air between history and the present.)
It’s cold in here, I say.
With the heat turned down low, visiting drafts chill every corner of this room. But my mother remains unaware. Here, in a distant land, where winter bites her skin and wears her down the way ice wears down the tread of tires, she dreams of warmer climes, of sweat-drenched crowds spitting watermelon seeds beneath the sanctuary of humid dusks, of soil that remembers her name. The was, it seems, still survives the is. She hears the call of distant music, the rhythm of old migrant steps, and mourns. Too late, too late – her body protests.
Memory is opium.
It embellishes and exhausts
steeping the mind in hot
sensations the way
tea is steeped in water.
Do you remember how there used be a school lying on the outskirts of the city of my birth, with doors and shutters wide open, with solid pine doors and cool green walls? My mother murmurs wistfully – suddenly – hoarsely - through her tears.
No, I reply. I wasn’t even been born yet.
In the courtyard, sycamore trees and willows painted tender brushstrokes against the sky, and the earth had been yellow with spring. Her old high school, thirty or so years ago. While the sun dripped through latticed branches, my mother had been in one of its classrooms – her body arched, toes pointed, learning the rudiments of dance from an aging semi-professional. Her flesh had quivered with raw faith while she pivoted on the hardwood floors in urgent spins, magnetized by flight and fired by dreams. She had felt like a butterfly snatched up by the living wind, tossed onto a higher plane, above the damp struggles of Mortality.
But time makes every lost second felt. If my mother had known her heart wouldn’t forget long after her flesh has, would she still have gotten married, going the way dumpy figures haranguing at the market have gone? Flesh is a candle, but blood diluted with age loses none of its potency, and the heart still palpitates with desire. How soon after her marriage did she realize that once love cuts itself away from youth, it becomes as mundane as making rice? Meanwhile, her dreams lie with a misplaced lifeline. The butterfly had hatched too soon from its chrysalis, and it had fallen down and now lies cold and quiescent among the tussocks, while the sun shines its warmth onto the frosty woods.
As my mother raises her bare hands to her face, stooped shoulders rattle their burden.
Her veins seethe with the blood of a dying generation but all
she is capable of uttering is a