Art by Helen Deborah Lalonde

My Mother at Forty Six

My mother at forty six
sways only slightly.

Sturdy limbed and 
honey tongued,
she treads her roads 
like a goddess on the first day of her festival,
elegant queen of many years.
She is fire in the city- all thunder and dynamite,
rose and charm like milk.

But in the shadow of a force only mothers can carry,
she too is quiet.
Even as I bid her to speak and blaze her fortress safe,
she simmers, 
her fires she tames to dance in delicate wisps.
She lets the shadow rule
and tells me it is alright sometimes
to be embers and not 
a flame.

she has learnt in her forty six years
that silence carries power, 
just as fire
(as she tells me).

Perhaps she is only waiting.

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