my mother; my baby

What a difference, makes a week.

From its beginning, these perspectives, at the end.

Waking to the first, never did I imagine that my mother would become my baby, and that my baby would become my mother.

[cell-convo outside the laundromat:

“...so, she’s started her new life, and just arrived in town…I know, right?…I just didn’t want to trouble her with this, and I knew you’d understand…”]

Hands, mano a mano, cracked, dry, still, dirty from this day’s adventure, they come to hold each other easily, feeling as they have so, so many times, yet so few, as they grasp the memories at-hand.

[woman walks-by, cradling her laundered hoard, a sideways glance telling me more than I should want to know, asking me questions I could never answer, and I happily look-away, into the only eyes I would ever see (your eyes!)]

Waiting in the moment, still…

[“Please Wait To Be Seated”]

…feeling these moments, all, tied to me.

[“Table, or Booth?”
“Can I sit at the bar for carry-out?”
“Sure.”]

Jewels, each, that reflect this light, refracted into a rainbow of events.

Surrounded by shadows, they are framed.

Opportunity; parking structures; the taste of rain; the feel of a woman’s weary hand.

[“Are we leaving?”]

Reservations; happiness; working; loving; care in my cleansing.

[“Yes.”]

Four-leaf clovers; karaoke; PICC lines; vibrant sunrises; fire ants; crying.

[“Did you pay?”]

Pill-boxes left unfilled; smiles; blood; flowers.

[“Of course.”]

Like a dry, spent earthworm sprawled in its exhaustion near the edge of the tarmac—mere inches from its reward—I feel this creature in my hand, with compassion, and take these things, prying-aside the dry detritus with the other that I may gently lay them into the welcoming moisture of the earth, freshly revealed.

[“Something to drink?”
“Do you have unsweetened iced-tea?”
nods Lemon?”
“No; thanks.”]

As always, I cover these things, again, because all things soft need their hard coverings to preserve the essence, within.

[“Something to eat?”
“Italian Style Fettucini, please.”
“Chicken, sausage or mushroom?”
“Sausage. Thanks.”]

My mother; my baby, I held you both; as you wanted; as you needed; as you loved.

The soft kiss was as gladly given as it was so gladly received.

[“I’d like to add the House salad, if I could.”
"Sure. Dressing?”
“A vinaigrette…?”
“Balsamic, or Raspberry?”
“Balsamic.”]

My mother; my baby: whatever you are; whenever you are; wherever you are . . . I happily love all of your yous.

[“To go, you said?”
“Yes; definitely.”]

I gave all of my self to these tasks at-hand, as gladly as I did to all the other things—pressed; required; asked—all throughout this short, hard, sweet week.

My body, so, so depleted, I can only commit to its revival, as I wait, still.

[watching the Strong Man Competition on t.v.:
“How does it come that one, single, man can task himself to pull the weight of the things tied to him, behind, so far, in so short a time?”]

I would be with you both—my mother; my baby—in a heart beat, but I could only hope to ever find my self in all places, as it is our duty to each dwell in our own spaces as we care for this self—apart; a part.

It breaks my heart in so, so many ways to do these things; to know that loving another requires one to love the self, first.

[$14.50…I lay $4, and leave, partially satisfied, $ in one hand, change between, reward in the other]

My mother; my baby, I hold you close, and consume this realization as I do this fettucini—these juicy lettuces—and I am revitalized in the nutrition you so kindly afford.

You feed my Body as well as you do my Soul.

Thank you.

[happily turns the ignition to home]

~Melton’s App&Tap; Decatur, GA