I remember the soft scratch of her slippers
Upon our kitchen’s cheap linoleum floor
A gentle, apologetic, caring kind of friction
A carpenter's finishing touches
Using the finest grain sandpaper
To smooth the surface of a final masterpiece

When I think of these countless small journeys
She made across our kitchen floor
I’m reminded too of a precious toy
Faber Castell's "Lots O Loops"
I use to feverishly weave upon
With so much raw purpose
Slaving over its miniature plastic loom
As if making war-time blankets
For freezing soldiers on the front
Instead of these useless
And most certainly flammable pot-holders

It seems to me now
My mother's ankles were pulling
A similar such spongy thread
Across the expanse of our kitchen floor
Weaving an invisible pattern there
Over the days, weeks, months, and years
The thread naturally tightening
Imperceptibly at first
Pulling back from where
It was originally anchored
Making each step
Unbeknownst to us
A small battle, wearily won

We took so much from her
Thoughtlessly, without ceremony
Not realizing the strain required
By this complex tapestry she was weaving
I try to imagine its final shape
If made visible
Revealed by some secret, spectral range of light
Viewed through the lens
Of intense, burning, infrared guilt

I pretend I can see the structured pattern
Of this creation
The soft pastels she chose
As I run my hand over
The complex series of twists and knots
Each representing some effort of love and care
In the risky, ill-advised
No guarantee investment
Of creating a family

Whatever beauty she produced then
Cannot be studied now
For it has since been lifted up and out
From the straining loom
Leaving only its open maw
And bristling teeth

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