V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics




    “The strongest of all warriors are these two—Time and Patience.”
                                —Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

All their lives the girl studied the mother.
This was her favorite subject, the one she
was best in, there was nothing

about their history of battle the girl
did not remember: which words could turn into
land mines, how to keep distant and still

appear loving, look sweet, how much
of independent thought to sacrifice for
a truce that never would last, her heart

from an early age taking a break each time it was
called upon to perform, no allies in place
to protect it, no trench.  After your death

I say it:  I was that girl. You were that mother.
Now, the small unexpected bells of forgiveness
ringing, ringing, calling me

to attention:  what made you
someone to love.  All along.   I loved you.
And was too busy practicing defense to see.


© by Ingrid Wendt


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