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My mother is stored
in the box downstairs,
our short life together
saved in two-hour intervals.
Everything I’ve learned of her

(her single dimple, her wavy brown hair,
   her crooked smile
which I wear like fingerprints)
retained in the time it takes to
fast forward or
rewind the tape.
She’s preserved in the movie reels,
patiently waiting for me to

press play,
wanting me to meet her,
to learn how my name
sounded on her lips before the

Cancer broke

her voice.
To see how my sleep-heavy
four-year-old frame
fit into her chest before the

sickness broke

her strength.
My mother,
neatly packaged downstairs,
was hoping, some day
I’d remember these tapes and
I’d forget my last memories
of the hospital room –
   the paleness,
   the frailness,
   the staleness of it all,
and
I’d erase the moment she realized
she could be no more than a

Stranger
leaving the faintest scent of a mother
I would have to track
and discover
on
my
own.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

SillyIndigoSea said...
Nov. 26, 2008 at 6:36 pm
this makes me want to cry. it's very good.
 
Jammin' said...
Aug. 29, 2008 at 12:05 am
This is a beautiful poem.
 
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