Mother Mary

Marie Marchand
1 min readOct 29, 2021
Photo by Cecile Vedemil on Unsplash

I want to write a poem
about the last time
I saw my mother.

It would be a modest poem
describing an autumn afternoon
in Colorado when a mother
and daughter sat together
on a back patio
and the daughter assessed
a neglected lawn full of
leaves, dry grass, and sticks.

The poem would recount how
the daughter started raking the debris
into piles, working by quadrant
across the wide space.
And how she looked over to
the patio every few minutes
to check-in with her quiet mother
who nodded and smiled
leading the daughter to wonder
about the mysterious inner landscape
of dementia.

And how time passed with the
crinkling and whooshing of leaves
and the rake scraping the ground,
and how the repetitive
motion felt to the daughter
like a meditation.

And how when she was focused
intently on the task,
facing away from the house,
she turned slightly and noticed
her mother standing nearby–
shoulders curved forward,
a rake in her hands
slowly gathering up detritus.

I want to write a poem
about the last time
I saw my mother,
but it always stops there
because how can I describe
the fullness of that moment?

the wordless connection
the tenderness
the peace



Marie Marchand

Poet Laureate of Ellensburg, WA. Author of Gifts to the Attentive from Winter Goose Publishing. @mishiepoet