To mom, pt. 2
I miss the way you walked into my room at 6 in the morning,
The way you used to gently caress my face
With coarse, calloused hands warm from just wrestling the risen dough
“Dou, Mama made breakfast. Get up.”
What I would give now to see that smile once more touch
The cold corners of your lips, no matter how thin and patched, still split wide for me, still
I miss the way you used to speed around the house thirty minutes before Zhangning Ayi’s potlucks.
You shouted orders like a madwoman, coming in as brash as the Northeast winds and
Clearing a path wherever you went.
Although I only showed you two furrowed brows and a deep pout, inside I admired your formidability. Only a great leader like you could pull this off.
I miss how we used to fight on the way to school, and I leaned as far as I could towards the window,
Chin jutted so high my face could’ve been a saucer for a heavenly teacup, fallen from the sky.
You always had a steep slope, going this way and that, one thought always leading to the another
Until all I could do was bite my lip until it bled so as not to yell back (I knew this would only bring up three or four new complaints from whatever I said, so I had to keep silent.)
But most of all, I miss your heart, one so strong that it carried struggle and strife unknown, hardships you have never told anyone.
Your heart, which gave me so much even when I didn’t deserve it.
You could only repay every single one of my false deeds with a true, undeterrable love.
Tell me, how am I supposed to shake off all this guilt now?
Your heart, it always believed. It was stupid, in a heartbreaking, naive way that made everyone want to protect it. The sweetest innocent, how could we not?
Thank you, mama, you change my life. I don’t ever want to be scared of completely losing you again. Let’s make sure, for the rest of time, we never miss a single thing, until every single box checked and every last tear cried and every last hug cherished.