nourish

You nurtured us,
and now I nurture your memory.
In this memory I try to hold
you are young and full of vibrancy and hope
like in that photograph
I keep on my fireplace mantle.
You and dad on your wedding day,
cutting the cake that celebrates
your first day together.

The folded frame holds two photos.
In the other, you are together still,
so happy, so in love, yet older.
Bodies not as supple, bending over with the weight of the world
and from life’s difficult truths, discovered.
But your commitment so much stronger, and so sure.
Resilient against all odds.

On your wedding day in 1957
you didn’t know the darkness you would have to endure together,
as one struggled with depression
and both struggled with pain from the past.

But you faced it together.
And when I was born,
we faced it as a family
and we were stronger because of it.

We nurtured each other, through the years,
feeding each other with the emotional nourishment
we all needed to feel safe and satiated.

In the early days, you cooked for the three of us, and I helped.
We were well fed and taken care of.
But then, sometimes, it wasn’t just about preparing satisfying meals.
Proper nourishment became more complicated,
and we didn’t always know what the other needed —
And especially, what you needed, Mom.

You, the family caretaker, needed special care
that only your loving family could give.
Dad and I, in time, learned how to nurture.
After all, we learned from the best.

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