My mother likes to say she used to walk to the end
of Fury looks you in the eye as if you’re intimately
familiar with this street as if her passion and will
can be measured by common coordinates she who
cannot put her finger on the common world of Other
certainly not easily theirs is a distant country with customs
and peculiarities she navigates with good manners
red-headed wit and phrases so well-turned
they slip like fish through her lips and leap
ladders passeth misunderstanding into
upstream waters calm and only disconcerting
when you realize she’s bestowed upon you
her kind of Irish blessing speared you with
cliche so if my daughters crossed the road
without looking or never cashed the birthday
check or went months without calling then
the apple didn’t fall far from the tree never mind
her own core and seed’s descent from the heights
as it sought to pierce the surface where the roots
embrace and home again all the way from Fury
spent at last vulnerable though not without
her camouflage of wit her red hair faded now to gray
a softening transforming my old dear mother
into a bundle of smiles eyes still vivid twinkling
with less of a sharp edge the words I love you
spontaneous and most disarming people say
it’s a generational thing can it be true can love
swim this easily from the lips looking for calm
in a burgeoning world the branches quarreling
entire libraries burned to the ground by the time
we reach the end of Fury and head back humbled
wizened bereft grieving alone is it only then
we notice the road home is longer than we imagined
and anyway it’s bad luck to go back

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