Mother who falls past me, who wants what I cannot give her, the peace I never found. I never stopped looking for you. In every woman. In every day that sooner or later let me down. Mother of my distance from myself, of roads that never lead to you, of victories I force from each day. As if the world’s praise mattered. As if, along the parade route, I didn’t see you in every face. Gather me round you now, like the blanket that slips from your shoulder: I won’t pretend it’s enough. Mother of the cash transaction, who keeps her poverty hidden, who wants not to be stranded on the last page of her story, who wants to forget. The father. The uncle. Who wants God to love her the way she once thought a man would.