My mother waits in the great ante-chamber

When I kissed my mother for the last time, she was no longer there.
Her hands still waved, as if seeking to drink,
but her mind had already passed over the great river
and was safe on the other side, beyond the power of hurt.

As she has lain, falling slowly towards death, this year
I have found in her the mother I could not find in life.
All that jammed our mutual radar fell away,
and I could experience the love she always meant, but which,
somehow, got so jangled in transmission.

Towards the end we met on equal terms, she
no longer feeling that ancient need to stand her ground,
her insecurities always on display around me;
and I no longer needing to attack, for now she was beyond
anywhere where I could, at last, have made her hear me.

So, finally, we were together.
Just … together, nothing more.
She told me what she wanted at her funeral – had saved,
not pills, but a stash of service-sheets against her end.
And so, finally, I knew her – as she had always known me. Two angels
unable to recognise each other throu their mortal clothing.

In fact my mother was admitted to the sky a couple of hours more or less as I was writing this.

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