By RUAA LABANIEH
At times, I forget how much I need my mother.
When life is good,
and I am surrounded by a circle of friends,
when school is as easy
as ABC, and I’ve never felt happier.
She’s there, of course,
with her laugh lines and aging wrinkles.
Invisible in my mind, but present in my eyes,
invisible to my smiles and stories
but present in my demands.
So caught up in my happiness and success
I push her away to the shadows
where my previous failure lies.
I push her away,
dismissing her from my service.
Then, like a rug pulled from underneath my feet,
it is over.
The light of success and triumph dims,
the light of friendship flickers,
then burns out.
I am alone, I am alone, I am alone and I am sad.
She is there, falling to her aching knees,
the ones she complains about to unhearing ears.
She is there, with her hands roughened
by the gallons of bleach,
resting on my cheeks.
She is there,
meeting damp eyes with warmth.
At times I forget how much I need my mother.