Appearance meant everything.
She dressed her children in exquisite outfits,
ironed and edited her husband’s clothes.
She knew how to make us look attractive.
Her feet hurt from wearing
shoes a half-size too small.
She made me cautious in my clothes,
wary about grass and ink and food stains.
Concerned with style to the end,
she requested a closed casket for her funeral.
So when we selected
her final change of costume,
I chose the most comfortable ensemble
for her to wear into the great beyond:
wool socks to keep her feet warm,
her worn cotton shirt and soft sweats.
Flo, her caretaker, and I were pragmatists.
“What good are fine garments now?”
we asked ourselves. Since then, I’ve wondered,
“Did I betray my mother’s fashion sense?”
Was I celebrating her release from suffering
and dressing her for a zone of comfort?
Or was this my redress for deferring to elegance,
a model forced to cut a beautiful figure?
Our priest suggested that we’ll never know.
Wow, I would wonder that as well. But you released her from her suffering, and perhaps her request for closed casket was her invitation for you to do that. Your poem moves nicely.
Yes, this was well crafted and a rather deep thought. The questions in the poem are executed well.
My favorite, Gaby!…. seems like she was honored in a way that may have “suited” you both?
You speak to those of us who have been through this.
But your priest could be wrong now that you have shared this…