Peas in a Pod

They flitted around the room
Like moths
Each one’s hands dancing
In rhythm with the other
Though never once
Did the mother look upon her daughter
Nor the daughter look upon her mother

They danced, weaving in and out of the crowd
Their arms made the same motions
Their hands twisted in unison
Their bodies danced as if
They’d been dancing all their lives

They looked more like a mother and daughter
Than any mother and daughter I’ve ever seen
No man was evident
And no man should have been
Given how the pregnancy happened
They looked alike
So alike they could have been
Twin sisters with a 19-year age difference

Their love was so palpable
That everyone I knew
Looked their way
There was no way to avoid it
They bled love into the air
The way some people bleed anger or fear
And everyone in the room
Was better for their presence

I think about them now
I worry
Is the daughter still alive?
Is the mother coping with what life throws her way?
But they have resilience enough
To meet most situations head-on

I will always remember
When the mother circled around my table
To acknowledge my presence
Without saying a word
And without saying a word
My pattern of rocking altered
All on its own
To acknowledge her presence
And that was enough
For both of us
Without a verbal ‘hello’
That neither of us could muster

The mother is one of those people I love
Whose functioning is cobbled together by pieces
Who always surprises people
Either with what she is capable of
Or what she is incapable of

The reason I love people like this
Is I am one of them
And it takes one to know one
It takes one to see the giant gaps
Between what is expected and what is there

They would call us low-functioning
And they would say it was amazing
That we could do the things we do
Just because we climb the cliffs every day
And cobble together functioning
From the wreckage of the previous day
Our fingers bleed
But we do it because we have
No other choice

I love people like us because
This is my people
This is the people who understand
When I collapse in the middle of a presentation
This is the people who understand
When I can’t say hello
When I can’t type at all
This is the people who understand
That sometimes not typing is not a malfunction
Sometimes it’s a return to our roots
Where words never grew on their own
And thoughts were mere shadows in the distance

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3 thoughts on “Peas in a Pod

  1. Mel/Amelia, This is a lovely poem. I especially like the final stanza. I think about you often. I hope you are well.
    I miss you
    Martha

    Like

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