What I Left Behind
I left my DNA behind.
From skin, hair and bone.
In the city that raised me.
I discarded razor, toothbrush, bath sponge.
Drank the remainder
of ginger ale and local beer.
Finished my brand of yogurt,
packed the rest of the trail mix.
I left her apples and oranges,
different, like the two of us,
thin-skinned and impenetrable.
Left broccoli and kale,
sweet potatoes, soy sauce,
the crock pot I sent before I arrived.
I spoke, she wrote, my recipes down,
how to prioritize layers in the crock,
the hardest always at the bottom.
The house where she lives, always dark inside.
Newly decorated, forty years back.
Two dogs, much loved,
“Mumma’s best little girls, Mumma’s only babies”.
I am my mother’s only child.
We visited the cemetery of very strong people.
Frederick Douglas, Susan B. Anthony,
I was in love with a city
that always recognizes
its homegrown daughter.
All except for my mother.
And darkness inside.