Essay: The Aged Mother

Another Mother's Day down, the awkward ceremony survived. Loaded like a German fruitcake, you smiled wide as a freeway, wobbled under tulips, chocolates, a witty card, wished her all the happiness in the world and told all the old stories. Wasn't it fun? Wasn't she pleased, the ancient matriarch who, in a time so distant that it seems made up, slid you out soaked, milky, blind into the sheets? On her designated "day," that same panting, sweating girl sat dry as a museum bone, a china plate receiving alms.

You remember her as reckless, consenting to squat to catch what you...