and when she comes to visit and then goes home
and any time we part and know
it will be long till we meet again,
my mother puckers up her lips in the shape
of a fresh spring tulip and takes my face in her hands
to crunch my cheeks, then kisses me--
a peck really--and then, in case we never meet again,
she tells me--to be sure I know that once
it had been good between us--
You have no idea how much I loved you
when you were my little blond girl.
She would say this, I think, because,
since that time, so much anger had blown
between us--its slag sticking on us.
But whenever we say goodbye, it all unsticks,
rolls down the deep well of forgotten things.
With each farewell, there's always that sweet moment
of two awkward souls fumbling.