He Was

He reached for my mother’s hand -

His pulse slow as molasses,

His skin pale as bed sheets.

He was my mother

When my uterus peeled away

Like layers of a crimson onion.

Mother floated on bitter breezes,

Dressed in ash

When I became a woman.

His eyes clouded by age

Saw her in the doorway

As she grew from the embers

Of the suffocating fire.

He was my mother

When I had questions he could not answer,

Questions that were dripping with estrogen

And wrapped in blood stained night gowns.

Mother left before the words could

Beat the last breath out of her mouth.

#CatherineJMahony #Poetry