What I Keep Coming Back To

Photo by Jose Padua
One of my fondest memories
of my mother is this—
seeing her on the corner of Mt. Pleasant
and Hobart when I’d caught up
with her and my dad
after I’d gone back to the house
to get my warm coat,
then watching her lean forward,
tilted like a bell about to ring,
to shake hands with the man
who always panhandled there.
I have lived so many years
now in other places
and spent so many days thinking
of all the right things to say
but what I keep coming back to
is this—
the way she lifted
her arm without hesitation
on that cool, clear morning;
shaking the old man’s hand
just the same
as if she were greeting
a president or a queen.

-Jose Padua

Photograph by Jose Padua

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One response to “What I Keep Coming Back To

  1. Beautiful! I remember when I one of my relatives passed away, how very distinct memories popped up I thought I’d forgotten.

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