Listen to Sherod Santos read this poem.
“Face it”—this said with such urgency,
it’s hard to tell who it is she’s talking to,
herself or me—”I just can’t live like this anymore.”
Never more at home, I realize it’s over now,
the gesture forged as finally as the front door slamming
(or my memory of it), and perhaps as well,
beneath it all, some inkling of the reason why:
It hurt for her to see me see what I couldn’t,
in my heart, quite pity. And yet, across the lesser
distance of some forty years, she invites me
over drinks to think how hard it must’ve been for her.
And didn’t I remember, six months later,
the note she’d sent me from that place in Maine?
“You mustn’t forget I’m still your mother.”