Jennifer Burd

 

WHEN MY MOTHER

 

When being unable to help my mother calling for my help

When my mother falling and not falling with her nor being able to lift her up

When wondering have I ever before held my mother’s weight in both arms

When imploring the innocent bystander, the spring air

When a family of three arriving and hearing my call

When the cheerful husband and father hurrying to us then quickly turning us over to his wife, the occupational therapist

When this gentle woman hoisting my mother, seemingly effortlessly by her waistband, the teenage daughter
looking on with calm expression

When my mother smiling again as thanks bled from our lips

When going inside to the house concert we had come for, to sweet fiddles and flutes and my heart
in wild adrenaline percussion

When my mother forgetting that anything had happened outside

When at intermission the paper slips bearing our names and e-mail addresses

When the guitar player announcing that the person whose name was drawn would be given a special gift of music

When telling myself that if my name is drawn this gift will belong to the one who lifted my mother up

When the one hand-picked to select a name being her teenaged daughter, the only member of the audience
under 45 years of age

When this magic girl on the threshold like Spring sitting among us

When never believing what is greater than us could know or care but with what precision the afternoon unfolding

When the musician asking the teenaged daughter to close her eyes, reach in, and take out a paper slip

When the first name drawn belonging to one who had left early and the slip officially discarded

When, closing her eyes again and drawing the second name, that of her mother, the ministering angel

When the music beginning again, and ever more deeply

When tears singing

 

 

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