With the grace of a queen
My mother lowers her creaking body
Into the same old wooden throne
At the same old kitchen table
Just a second later she sighs,
Breathes heartbreak the color of the ocean
But somehow it fades to gray
Invisible tears fall on unforgiving cement.
With a hand resting over her stomach
She hovers as always, the best of mother’s do
She breathes in the lilacs, violet, lavender
When promised herself the cancer wouldn’t win
She didn’t anticipate victory taking so much of her
This precious thing no longer a part of her
Out of use so long she forgot how it pulled her heart.
Later, she will permit herself one good cry
No second of it will be wasted- she’ll explain
How strange she feels, the guilt she carries
Because in choosing to save her own life
She has discarded our very first home
Can she still be considered a miracle,
Will the neighbors tell her she’s selfless
Now that this life-giver has sacrificed her vessel?
I tell her yes, she is still the same goddess
Who made her body a font of all we needed.
The thing she just gave up, I insist,
Does not a true queen or mother make.
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