Love Poem to My Mother

By DeMaris Gaunt

We were alone for a little while
in the bright white hospital room
with the darkened sky
peeking through the window.
I wanted to tell you something 
you didn’t know—
something I had forgotten to tell you—
so I took your hand, 
soft, heavy with dying, into mine—
asked you to remember all those nights 
you read to me at bedtime
from the brick-shaped book of poems
when I was only ten years old.
It was in those late hours   
I began to understand the depths
of the human heart 
long before my own experiences 
would carve valley’s into mine—
it was your voice reciting out loud
the verses of poets long-dead
which taught me poetry was a place,
where I had permission to say anything,
to express everything—
so this is my love poem for you, mom—
this is my gratitude poured onto the page 
for every poem you read to me—
each one a discovery, a guide,
part of the road map I will use to travel on
now that I am lost without you.



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