Your Mother Imagines That You Talk to Her

by Rebecca Jessup

Your mother imagines
that you talk to her all the time
but that you can’t quite write anything down,
can’t quite get to the computer, can’t quite
hit “send”, can’t quite reach the phone.
Across thousands of miles, she imagines
that you intend many cheerful, newsy messages,
describing your day, your harried schedule,
what color dresses you found for the girls,
what funny thing the boy said last week,
how painful it is to have an angry teenager,
what friend you ran into (with footnotes
about who your friends are now), when
you’ll see the doctor next, and how
you’re feeling, what your favorite neighbor says, and
what her grown children are doing now, who’s still angry
and who’s pregnant and who’s in the army. She imagines
your language as you report on your life, what you think and feel about it all,
the inflection of your predictions and conclusions. All
these imagined accounts float toward your mother,
drifting, bobbing over the oceans,
heard maybe by gulls and dolphins. Dozens of stories,
spinning in eddies, trying to make their way,
making the listening seabirds and small fish smile. This
is what she imagines today, since
she needs to imagine something.

Copyright 2015, Rebecca Jessup

Rebecca Jessup says: “I am a mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, great-aunt. Also a Latin teacher, office worker, poet, writer, sometime artist. I live just outside of Belfast, Maine, where I can look out at the Penobscot Bay every day. Most recent publication (‘Dactyls’) was in Classical Outlook (Fall 2013).”

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