Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Family Reunion

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She knows they are all
in the room, recognizes
their voices, even though
they speak in the same hushed
tones she did when she
rocked, soothed and nursed
them so many years ago.

Hears her oldest discussing
morphine drips with the nurse,
her middle child softly crying
and then swallowing her sobs,
her youngest apologizing for
waking everyone when
he roared up in his semi at dawn
and her granddaughter quieting
her great grandchildren.

She tries to find her voice
and remember the words
of a lullaby or love song
to chase away the sadness,
but she is distracted by the
bright sunlight in the window,
detects voices from the past
and knows they are here
for the family reunion.

Hears her Grandpa telling a joke,
Grandma laughing, her uncles
comparing golf scores, her aunts
fussing over the chocolate cake,
her sisters bickering as they set the table,
Daddy pronouncing the roast medium rare
and Mama calling her for dinner.

Hesitates, knowing once she leaves
the room there is no going back,
but she is so cold and weary
that she rises from the bed,
walks into the warm sunshine
and takes her place at the table.

Sharon Waller Knutson is a retired journalist who lives in Arizona where she writes poetry, hikes, and takes photographs of wildlife out of her picture window in her earth home, built by her musician husband. She has four grown children, ten grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. Her chapbook, Dancing with a Scorpion, was published by Moon Journal Press in 2006. Her poems have also appeared in Orange Room Review.

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