I remember the first time
I realized my mother had a life before me.
She didn’t exist only in memories
Of summer night firefly jars
And airport goodbyes.
When she shared a picture from her past
I began piecing together a woman I didn’t know;
Before Mommy, someone called her
Baby. I wasn’t always the last
To kiss her goodnight.
Her mind was a forest:
Dense, unforgiving, all consuming,
Subject to laws only it understood.
For years I navigated the
Dark terrains of her mind
Tripping over roots, anchored deep
in the soil of her self,
Scraping my knees and
Breaking my spirit.
When the trees of her spirit began to fall
Did I listen for a sound?
My mother did not come with a map.
Her mind too often mimicked
The temperament of Mother Nature;
Only thriving in perfect conditions,
But our conditions were far from perfect
And when I lit the flame of doubt;
When I questioned her devotion to me
I saw the forest burn behind her eyes.