Julie’s mother Glenna, my mom Jane,
tucked into folds of heaven, released from pain,
the paradise we dream for them
both weightless and respectful of their souls,
those independent motherly conditions
of perpetual forgiveness in the face of kids
who disappoint but never disapprove
of how their mothers stubbornly refuse
impressions of perfection in the fabric of the heart,
where only art, the gentle creature, intervenes
to stitch the seams
and stir the soup
and scrub the knees
of turtle seeking denizens of glee.
You, and me.
How could we but see them where they stand,
now goddesses of Pan, sticky yeast and cinnamon
adorning every crevice
of their clever, kneading hands?
Painting William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Soul Carried to Heaven