“Oh Hello…what have you brought there?”

I hold the plate of kid-baked,


 ginger-bread cookies

 in front of her.

Eyes are shinny with expectation as she sits up

Gray hair, unusually clean, a little thinner,

But the same pale blue, opaque nightgown

And same flour-sack breasts shifting underneath

“I’ve been so worried…about my father…

He’s been sick you know”.


Yes. I know

 he’s been dead for 40 years.

She calls me a name that’s not mine, and smiles.

She likes me now.

She is happy to see me now.

She wants the cookies.

She is happy for the kindness of strangers.

This stranger.


I want to let it go on…but instead say who I am.

Mommy, who was truly, simply, freely, open to me


 for a moment

Snaps back

And frowns.