Aftermath of father remembering Lebanon,
aftermath of mother remembering Syria
could take its toll in the hemispheres
of brain matter and landscapes,
or returning thoughts that their mothers buried
themselves under the amber lights
of fire deep into the night and then died
quiet deaths, deaths they never spoke of.
Fifty seems large, a golden anniversary of some
sort, a number the neurologist utters
as he checks the final MRI results.
Possibly a tally of all the losses,
the children who kept slipping away month
after month to join all the others,
while we continued to seal the cracks in the walls
of a home that could never be finished.
Tally of surgeries, the rude remarks
strewn from their mouths, late-night drives
to the hospital to check small pulses, small wires
reaching up to cold, sterile machines,
jumping off the diving board into the large jaws
of motherhood, tally of no sleep
for three years, nights of caramel corn and coffee
while the wicked kitchen clock wouldn’t
stop its metronome of noise. Fifty. Could have been
a hundred. Instead it’s five decades
of consecrated debris left in the mind
turning into untranslated hieroglyphs,
scars of unlimited force and damage.
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