Poem for Saturday: My Mother’s Tuesday Afghan My mother’s Tuesday afghan. MY MOTHER’S TUESDAY AFGHAN She was calling, calling reaching from the depths of the body I no longer recognize to this world she no longer recognizes an imitation of reality patched together from leftovers of memories, pleading for someone to do something, but the first thing I saw was the afghan across her bed one big granny square row upon row growing larger each row a different color brighter and more cheerful with each row. She recognizes my voice but not really who I am still I can guide her attention away from her unidentified need in this unfamiliar world to where mine had gone when I saw the afghan remembering one just like it I’d made decades before as a young teenager scraps of yarn from other afghans I’d made for other family members each row a different person a different room in a different house a different memory and given to my brother. And so with leftover scraps of memories tied to leftover scraps of yarn I led her back to her home, the afghans, my brother, the 70s all of us a time I knew she held close until her voice lost the desperate note and she sat back talking of the neighborhood and the new kitchen makeover and of people who had died years ago and, surrounded by these familiar things I hoped she might spend the afternoon there. Poem (c) 2011 Bernadette E. Kazmarski I stopped in at the nursing home to see my mother on a November afternoon in 2010, and, really, the first thing I saw when I looked in her room was the afghan pictured above, and it immediately took me back to an earlier day…and a younger mother. She was in her bed calling for someone to do something, I’m not sure what, and it took a while for her to recognize my voice; her macular degeneration has virtually blinded her, just as her dementia has done, taking away the reality we see and feel every day and replacing it with an inferior imitation, patched together from the leftovers of memories. Visiting her at that point, just two months before she died, was not easy because she was mentally so far away and the confusion really frightened her. I appreciated any tiny kernel that could help to organize her mind, and in this case, mine as well. I did my best to take her mind from her unidentified need by pointing out the afghan, which she could barely see though I described it. I’d made one much like it years before out of scraps of yarn left over from afghans I’d made for other family members, every row a different color, a different person, a different room, a different home, round and round, and gave it to my brother who hadn’t yet received one of my crocheted creations, and through many situations he kept it for years though it had ended up in her house. Pulling together those odds and ends of memory, the yarn, the afghans, the 70s, my brother, all slowly steered her to a different memory, focused on a different time, and I hoped she might spend her afternoon there. Ironically, that time was a profoundly unhappy time for me, one I’d rather not remember, but perhaps visiting it in this context softened the edge of memory. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related Post navigation Hot Peppers on a Cold DayPittsburgh at Night, 2011 Leave a Reply Cancel reply This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.