song of our mothers


our mothers walk   a path to freedom   that is not their own
they are broken into   every moment   by the push and pat of dough
that won’t be eaten.   flour and oil inside their chipped nails.   hair graying
from the swoons   of the wind.   a secret romance    with time
replaces   the loss of all the men   who ever said i love you
and meant it   for only a short while   while their bodies were still new
to them;   each time they wanted to believe   the rose had not yet fallen
from their hands   only to find it laying on the wet floor   waiting for
a man to pick it up   again.   the rose has flooded the floor in red petals
red roses, red streams.   day by day   our mothers go on dreaming,
never losing hope   yet losing themselves   when hope arrives.
i have witnessed    my mother crumble   under the loss of love anew
holding all the tears inside   walking around swollen   and smiling
hiding behind   a fear that i can’t say   i haven’t felt sometimes
when i contemplate the passage of time    and my counted breaths
singing an old tune    i learned from her.

Margarita Rosa