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Mother told me she loved me for
Lying to her the day that she died
And I told her if I were the one dying
She would have lied for me too.
She nodded in agreement as I handed
Her the acerbic lemonade that she hates
And I watched her swallow and scrunch up her nose.
She asked me how Dad was and
I told her my dad was a loon.
She couldn’t agree more
But sighed “You shouldn’t say those things, Anna”
In the disappointed voice I miss so much.
She told me the story
Again of the day that she died
And said that Dad
Would have never lied to her the way I did.
I wiped the hair out of her face and
Told her she shouldn’t say those things.
She smiled sweetly and asked if he was
Seeing other women
And I hesitated before answering “No.”
She poured the lemonade down the sink and
Wiped her eyes with a pot holder I gave her
The Christmas before she died.
Though her tears revealed the truth
Her undying smile never faded.
Thank you for lying to me.
Any time, Mother.