My Mother’s Song(s)

My mother sang as she hung laundry,
melodies from a not so distant youth spent in
another land, another place now so removed
from her current life.

I was maybe five or six years old,
and didn’t understand the words, from
a language we had once shared so easily
but now fast fading from my tongue.
I imagine they were tunes and lyrics familiar
to her fellow villagers, crafted and adapted through the years.

I sang along in some grotesque but not intentionally
poor imitation,
wanting to participate but not entirely in the same spirit.
She stopped singing, perhaps distracted, brought abruptly back
to the present, perhaps embarrassed that these now
disparate parts did not fit so well.

I never heard my mother sing again, and
have often wondered if she ever did.

--Ken M., Adult