Thursday, 3 January 2019

Self - A poem for my mother

It's my last day in Somerset West with my parents. I suddenly remembered that I'd been meaning to take my mother in her wheelchair to her mirror, to see whether the stroke-paralysed left side, and her hemianopia, may not benefit from the objective self-recognition, which a mirror asks for.

It was an uplifting moment, which brought not only gladness in us, and relief, for both my father and the carer, from the duty of combing my mother's hair, but, too, this little poem -

for my mother

For the first time
in twenty-one months
she's wheeled before a mirror -

'Looks familiar,' she quips,
touches her lame, left shoulder and knee,
crosses the left-right hemispheres - no problem -

combs her long, white hair,
is glad it doesn't pull
as much as when my dad or the carer do it -

and the very strands spontaneously make a delicate wave
above her brow, as newfound dignity
takes her forward

to the image now
of her lovely old

- Silke Heiss, 3rd January 2019

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