japonisme: Our Mothers Depart

16 November 2009

Our Mothers Depart


Our mothers depart from us,
gently depart
On tiptoe,
but we sleep soundly,
stuffed with food,
and fail to notice this dread hour.
Our mothers do not leave us suddenly,
no —
it only seems so 'sudden.'

Slowly they depart, and strangely,
with short steps down the stairs of years.
One year, remembering nervously,
we make a fuss to mark their birthday,
but this belated zeal
will save neither their souls
nor ours.

They withdraw ever further,
withdraw even further.
Roused from sleep,
we stretch toward them,
but our hands suddenly beat the air —
a wall of glass has grown up there!
We were too late.
The dread hour had struck,
Suppressing tears, we watch our mothers,
in columns quiet and austere,
departing from us.

Yevgeny Yevtushenko

(my mother died almost two years ago.
i have not cried. we weren't friends.
but how i loved her, as a child.
the more she pulled away from me
the more i craved her.)

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Blogger Diane Dehler said...

This is a gorgeous post and this poem by the Russian YY perfect. The Russian poets such as Akmatova and Vosenensky were the first that captivated me. Excuse spelling.

I just finished what was a long writing project for me as a part of nanowrimo. It Is about the spirit of a chrysanthemum and her path of solitude.

Take care Lotus, my friend

16 November, 2009 23:14  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

thank you dear princess.

i first found this poem in the mid-sixties, in a magazine (the new yorker?) that i came across in my journalism class! resonated then. resonates now.

17 November, 2009 12:27  
Blogger Yoli said...

I just choked tears for you and for all the mothers that inevitably one day will leave us.

17 November, 2009 14:02  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

oh yoli dear....

17 November, 2009 16:21  

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