Monday, June 29, 2009

Conversations with My Mother

My mother tells me she spent all day cleaning the gutters
and pulling out bushes.
She tells me my father is in the shower,
between the age and the cancer
and being out in the hot June sun all day.

And I don’t understand why anyone would go through that.
I tell her, they don’t need to do that, they are old. Who cares?

But she says when you have a house, it’s what you do.

I tell her I would never own a house. Not never. No never.
And she laughs and says if you don’t have kids there is no need.

I tell her we booked the trip to London in October.
I gush about finally seeing Shakespeare’s grave.
She practically swoons. She tells me that she is going there
through me, vicariously.
She tells me to stay in London.
To not come back.
To just keep traveling from one place to another until there is
nothing left to see.

And I don’t have the words to thank her
for understanding that I don’t want a home.
Or a child.
That I just want to keep moving.
That sometimes I can’t close my eyes
worrying about what I might miss.
That even at 32, I swear,
I can hold in my hands how little might be left.

But she probably already knows this.

And I wonder if that is what she would have done.
Had she not been pregnant so young?
But probably not. Traveling tends to wear her out.

Though not as much as cleaning the gutters and pulling out bushes.