Saturday, August 06, 2005

A Hibiscus Wind

Opening remarks: My mother, who’s living at Loretto nursing home now, had a brain tumor the size of a lemon in her head, and though the operation was supposedly a success, she has lost her short-term memory and is often confused. But she often says remarkable things:

A Hibiscus Wind

Mom rolls her wheelchair to the red hibiscus
in the nursing home lounge,
watches closely. Dusty petals tremble,
and so do her thin shoulders, rounded
under sweaters and afghans. She leans closer, bowing
her head toward the fabric blossoms. Her pale
face reflects scarlet and gold. She glows
with excitement, leans ever closer.
The air conditioner snorts, rattles, and wheezes.
"Oh," she says, backing suddenly away,
voice falling, like her hands. "It's only
the wind. I thought small birds
were gathering to burst out
and I wanted to be ready
to catch one."

Mary Stebbins,

For Margaret (Mom)

050804c , 050805a

Loretto, with Mom, “true story”

Closing Remarks: I personally would like to be near the bush when the birds of wisdom and love burst forth and I’d want to gather them all into my arms for a moment. Perhaps they’ll arrive in a rainbow of color, sprinkle me with joy dust.

While my mother suffered only disappointment, I experienced something akin to a small epiphany, hearing her words and seeing images of these birds, seeing another would superimposed over the everyday one.

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