Surely I have behaved and quieted myself,
as a child that is weaned of his mother:
my soul is even as a weaned child.
It’s awkward—I’ve just buried my mother.
She’d dementia-died long ago and I’m
swimming in the sea greens, nodding my head,
smiling—a polite mourner—but I’m not
grieving. She’s not fighting against currents.
Now, it’s just me drifting, legs wandering,
arms opening for sad-eyed embraces—
I’m pivoting, netting regrets, brushing
aside sympathy like kelp in my face.
I’m not tasting my own words in my mouth
on burial day—they’re things she would’ve said,
You’re so kind. It’s a blessing. She’s at peace.
Soon I’ll recall who she was—find loss, not
death is the barb—the fishhook in the lip.