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Lexington Poetry Month

I’M KEEPING MY MOTHER’S URN

14Jun2019
POEM
11

I know it’s irrational to worry
about how cold she would be
underground.  I place 
her urn on our hearth, anyway,
cozy and warm.  Hopefully, in her
new enlightened dimension,
she will actually appreciate
the gesture.  But, I doubt it.  I can
almost hear her complaining
that I don’t dust the urn enough;
that my husband and I stay up
too late when she’s trying to sleep;
that she hates our choice of TV shows:
police dramas instead of her favorite
sitcoms.

Need I remind you, mom,
that I am probably the only person
mourning you?

She is the sore subject my siblings
don’t want to bring up anymore.  Good
riddance is the general by-line.  But,
grief still visits me.  When I come across
a rare pair of clip-on earrings,
I want to buy them for mom.  On
Mother’s Day, I feel the strangeness
of not giving her a call.  It’s
the familiarity of her presence,
for three quarters of my life,
that I miss.  Those memories hijack me,
and I weep, alone


11 responses to “I’M KEEPING MY MOTHER’S URN”

  1. Larry Wheeler says:

    This is a really powerful poem. They’re gone, and we miss even the annoying things about them. May we all get to set things right in that “enlightened dimension”.

  2. mtpoet says:

    So much family history here, and it is an easy read, a tribute to dysfunctional families everywhere.

  3. Mike Wilson says:

    Wonderful poem. I like the mother complaining you don’t dust her urn enough. Trying to finish unfinished business. Nice ending.

  4. Sylvia Ahrens says:

    Kathleen – You drive us through so many emotions here – sadness, humor, regret . . .
    Your choice of specific details makes all your work so relatable. Beautiful!

  5. Debbie Cooper says:

    Oh goodness Kathleen. I really feel this and want to give you a hug.

  6. J. F. Angel says:

    I love the dark humor of this poem.

    The last line really gets me. Emotional and effective.

  7. K. Bruce Florence says:

    You have covered so much of a disfunction we don’t like, can’t change and have to accept. Lonely,too. The siblings line hits home.
    such good writing.

  8. Geri says:

    Grief is never easy and you have really captured this.

  9. Patti Miller says:

    I love this poem. I feel this poem.
    I always look forward to reading your work.

  10. Mary Allen says:

    Kathleen — I hope that someday I’ll be able to write of the mother-daughter relationship with your caring and elegance.

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