My Mother

My mother is an artist
She designs embroidery
- a dying art - and creates
any design she desires
her hands instruments
of a higher force

She explains to me
how this one is a fleur-de-lis
and how in the region
where we come from
it is made differently
from someplace else

With only one eye
the other is glass
she sees more than I do
She is dying
my heart is unsteady
I am powerless
a witness to her fate

My mother’s hands create
embroidery with many
names and meanings
She patiently explains
the subtle meanings
behind each motif

I listened in awe
while she explained
all of this to me
I had nothing to say

Now there is even
less to say as
Each day brings her
closer to her end
I drown in helplessness

She tells us she is sick, not stupid
she knows her death is near
If only I could relieve her suffering
I would do so until the end

She alternates between begging for death
then apologizes for doing this
She is my mother, she worries
about me, my mental health
how I will handle her death instead

I think about her hands flying quickly
the needle moving as tho she has 3 eyes
The pattern suddenly emerging
Then the design is near complete
like the course of my mother’s life