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Putting Our Heads Together

Poetry Contest 2006

And the winners are...


       

Honorable Mention
Vacant Chair
by Heather Marie McCarthy

Categorically speaking,
she is a mother,
my mother,
our mother:
selfless nearly to a fault,
loving the unlovable without limits,
worrying about our safety even in sleep.

Objectively speaking,
she is a woman:
compassionate and caring,
strong in virtue and principles.

Personally speaking,
she is a saint:
brave,
courageous,
silently suffering.

Categorically speaking,
it’s a disease:
that eats away at my mother
like a parasite clings to its host,
sucking the life out day by day.

Objectively speaking,
it’s a migraine,
not a headache:
that makes my mother hide her tears,
tears that I never fail to detect
masked by forced smiles of pain.

Personally speaking,
it’s…
not something I can begin to describe.

My only experience is in that of my mother’s:
the time she missed Thanksgiving,
no turkey, no stuffing, no orange squash for her.
Just the pain that would not stop,
the blinding lights that would not cease,
the noises that were just too loud,
and the thanks that could not come
when all I noticed was her absence.
 

© 2006, Heather Marie McCarthy



 

Published April 5, 2006

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