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Rating: 3.4

If you are lucky in this life,
you will get to help your enemy
the way I got to help my mother
when she was weakened past the point of saying no.

Into the big enamel tub
half-filled with water
which I had made just right,
I lowered the childish skeleton
she had become.

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Dr Antony Theodore 25 April 2018

Her eyelids fluttered as I soaped and rinsed her belly and her chest, the sorry ruin of her flanks... a very fine poem , it touched me about what u wrote about the mother. thanku dear poet.

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Rajnish Manga 28 January 2017

Very poignant poem that brings to fore the impact of aging in life. Thanks.

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Ratnakar Mandlik 28 January 2017

The precious bondage and most intimate relationship of a child and mother marvelously unfolded. Thanks for sharing it here.

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Bernard F. Asuncion 28 January 2017

No mother in her right mind abandons her child. We must love our mothers. Not all are mothers but everyone is a son or daughter.........

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Anil Kumar Panda 28 January 2017

This is not a way a mother should be treated. She is soft and lovely when old and must be treated kindly. Nice poem.

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Lantz Pierre 28 January 2017

To be able to peel away all the raw emotion to find the words that express all the complex layers of feeling with such touching, gentle and perverse joy is an neigh on miraculous. To step outside of oneself to see the self with such objective, crystal rationality, and then to come up with the words to do that justice is a humbling high-wire act over an abyss of blackness and beauty that I am nearly left speechless myself. Wow.

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Tom Allport 28 January 2017

a poem of compassion and understanding and that ultimately we are all made from the same mould.

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Edward Kofi Louis 28 January 2017

In any language. Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

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Courtney Stewart 23 November 2015

This resonates so deeply with me and my relationship with my mother. I never expected someone to be willing to reveal the darkened corners of the soul and speak on such a controversial feeling. To those in avid and immediate defense of the mother, consider that the speaker's feeling had to come from SOMEWHERE and that amount of pain and willingness for revenge cannot be wholly unfounded. The speaker's amount of humility and care necessary to even care for this woman who has obviously hurt him in some unspoken way is admirable, despite his obvious resentment. The ice cream resolution was truly a touching moment that I pray I will grow the heart to want to experience. Praise to Tony Hoagland for his willingness and ability to encapsulate all raw aspects of the human experience in his poetry. It does not go unnoticed.

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Renee Scheibe 12 July 2015

It IS sad. But also very real. Not all children have idyllic relationships with their oarents.. it gets very "real" when those parents age and are vulnerable. Not all children are motivated by love.. but moreso a desire to reclaim the power they feel wad stripped from them so long ago as well as a desire to be " good enough". Beautifully exposed.

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