The Life Force

By Louise Borad Gerber

Mother, until the end
   impeccably dressed,
                    having chosen from among her two hundred pairs of shoes
                    with a matching purse,
                    lining the walls of closets,
                    filled with a multitude of stylish clothes.

Mother, until the end

   coiffed and manicured,
                    red hair and nails,
                    reflecting her passion for living.
Mother, until the end
   vital and vivacious,
                    energetically running
                    to luncheons and dinners,
                    movies and plays,
                    Mahjong and bingo.
Mother, until the end
   loving and loved.

The Life Force
                    born with us
                    taken for granted,
                    source of strength,
                    fired by genetics, lifestyle and luck.
The Life Force
                    a miracle fuel,
                    burning itself out—slowly
                    getting us ready
                    to sleep forever.
Mother, in the end
                    beautiful, but withered,
                    undressed, without shoes,
                    listless and tired,
                    laying and waiting,
                    confused and silent,
                    dependent and incapable,
Mother, in the end,
                    cared for with love.

Louise Borad Gerber started writing poetry to capture the emotional impact of life with her special needs daughter, resulting in her book Naomi, My Baby Forever. She continues writing poetry about the absurdities and realities of everyday life. Louise is also a part-time artist and has owned Closets, Etc. for 36 years. Also by this poet: "Birthday 70+"