November 7

I guess it’s not by chance I spent

the morning hours thinking of Mother–
not as a matron lavished with responsibility
the way I grew up knowing her–
but as a young single woman celebrating
independence.
I posted a grainy, black and white shot of Mom
a month after high school graduation
dressed in a gown of her mother’s invention–
with capelet and guantleted gloves–
and a crown.
That day, she sang for the town about lands of the free,
flying red, white and blue, the Statue of Liberty–
for whom she stood in effigy–her voice high and true.
(I know because she gave me a private rendition
forty-some years later from memory. That broader occasion
was our nation’s bicentennial and I belonged
to to the campus planning committee.)
She continued to be a statue it seemed to us kids.
Perhaps she was freer than we were–at first–
we, her earned virtue and the right to defend it.
Later she learned that political freedom
was different than freedom of spirit.
She suffered from fear and her realization
that others can think whatever they will.
Independence was not just about nation
but about heart and surrender–
a task she didn’t quite conquer.
In the afternoon, I took a few minutes
to stroll in fall weather. There was a place
where I stepped off the concrete into the leaves–
maple and elm and cottonwood mixed together–
crackling, sending up scent.
Mind and memory knew what it meant:
Mother had found me again after all.

mom as columbia

Find what’s yours . . . truly, danscir52

copyright 2014 Dan Christensen all rights reserved

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