︎︎︎ RW Mayer
︎ MAR 8, 2022

I was told years later,
numerous times— that as a
preschooler I would get up in the mornings
and go over to my brother’s crib.

I would push books through the bars, then climb up
and over.
There I would sit and read books to him.
I turned the pages, repeated the lines I’d heard
my mother say scores of times, and
point out what was in the pictures.

These are the things we give each other.
My mother described it with such detail that I began
to see it myself. She must have stood in
the doorway and watched it like a movie.

Before her breakdown she was ferociously
nurturing. I was the first, so she played with me
and read to me by the hour. After the hospitalizations and the
psychotropic medications she was…

It took the wind out of her sails. She didn’t have
the dauntless energy. She wasn’t able to cope with
large stressors.

There were many changes. But her
Maternal Determination to guide us
as a parent rarely wavered. In her lucid
moments, still many, she taught us the values—
by word and by example, to live with others
in the world.

and we would turn around and
share it with another.

RW Mayer
has been a teacher and administrator in Southern Oregon and Western Washington public schools. He reads and writes, and fiddles with the guitar. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Spectra Poets and Poets Choice. He lives in Snohomish County, Washington.

Also by RW: Listening