Saturday, May 1, 2010

Washing My Mother’s Hair

(For Ruth Veale Percy Blair, 1909-2003)

Once, so many years ago,
My mother held me closely to her breast,
Nurturing me, giving me the mothering I needed.
I was a baby and did not understand her words
But I knew that I was loved.

As the years went by we gave up touching,
Content to love each other at a distance,
But now my mother has grown very old
And needs others’ help for many of her needs,

So I have come back to touching her again.
And now it’s I who hold her to my chest,
Cradling her familiar head to wash her hair,

Running my fingers gently over her scalp
And hoping in this small and homely way
I can myself let her know she is loved
In ways no words can tell.

© John I. Blair 1/7/2002, 2/11/2003

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