Eris Quod Sum

Eris Quod Sum
(I was what you are, you will be what I am)

Her face frozen in time with news of her mother’s passing
My mother had been a daughter at long-distance
Cord cut
Not lifted
She didn’t make the call

In a mirror my mother’s reflection as she painted her face on
An apparition had appeared with a sudden shudder
Before she knew
Ghostly goodbye
Still no water fell from her eyes

When I saw my mother stiff slumped dying in her chair
We had not spoken a sentence for two years
Fault-line dilated
Child forsaken
She was as Niobe turning to stone

Then in a night’s dream I felt as if I too was dying
As she came to my side in a vision
Slipping within
Clinging to life
Into my arms a daughter’s cry

One thought on “Eris Quod Sum”

  1. I like your poem’s quiet sense of purpose and that its end lies in its beginning. The phrase ‘daughter at long-distance’ really stands out for me and defines the poem’s message. The movement of the rhythm from those long opening lines to the short, sharp ones and back again summons up a questioning mind grappling with ideas you’d rather not face too directly, but in the end have to. Sums up that experience we all have when we glimpse our parents still alive within us. Very powerful and very human!

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