Not my mother

You call yourself my mother,
But you are not her anymore.
Not to me.

Nor, perhaps to you,
Even though you pretend,
Every once in a while, that you are.

Drift in, drift out again.

You tell me that you have moved on.

I seem to have been left behind,
Holding just the cloak
of a woman I once knew.

Don’t get me wrong.
I want to be glad at your new-found joy,
Whoever you are.

It’s the ‘mother’ bit I don’t get.

You’re barely there for me, like you were;
Instead, forever busy playing, with
other people’s children.

The mother I knew said she didn’t like holidays.
Or dancing –
Much less dinner parties.
Now you not only do these things:
You chase after them.

There is boundless energy
where once there was lethargy.

It’s not that you laugh that bothers me –
It’s the transformation.

The impossible echo that remains;
The question that lingers on –
Why could I not make you happy before?

The denial of all the time I spent,
Listening to you, talking,
The endless rainy afternoons.

They happened:
That’s what’s hard.

I can see that you’re happy.
But I don’t know who you are anymore.
Maybe I never knew you in the first place.

What I do know is
That whoever you are –
You are not my mother.

Clinging to your cloak,
I wonder if that is why.

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