No Reason for Me to be Angry with You

Angry with you
but you wouldn’t understand
I have no reason to be,
You didn’t say or do anything mean or cruel.
You asked, “Did you get your hair cut?”
And I said, “Yes.”
I didn’t ask, “Do you like it?” fearing
the answer would be no, and I’d be madder still.

No reason for me to be angry with you.

We were talking about the documentary, The Roosevelts
that aired on PBS.
You said, “Did you see the World War show?”
“No.”
“They showed all the people coming,” you said.
“Immigrants?” I asked.
“No . . . people.”
“Oh.”

A sunny day.
The nurse unlocked the door to the “Secret Garden”
so we could go outside.
I leaned over to sniff a yellow rose,
most of its petals gone.
“Does it still smell?” you said.
“Yes, it smells good.”
I couldn’t push your wheelchair close enough for you to sniff it
without hurting another plant,
So I didn’t.

mom in garden

Mom in the Secret Garden (photo by me)

No reason for me to be angry with you.

I can’t tell you that your sister died
I think it would be too much
(for me or you?)
A few weeks ago you said,
“I’m so worried, I haven’t heard from her
in so long.”
She called you, and sent hand-painted cards,
chocolates and Victorian magazines
even while she was ill.
I wish I could tell you how things really are,
and that you would understand.

No reason for me to be angry with you.

We watched ER and ate cookies.
You stared at me sometimes
without speaking.
Sometimes you’d smile,
but today it wasn’t enough.
Why can’t you say something?
Tell me that you understand.

No reason for me to be angry with you.

15 thoughts on “No Reason for Me to be Angry with You

  1. The irony in this beautiful poem glimmers like a diamond. I suppose one mitigating facet could be that she still knows you. I remember the last conversation I had with my father, over the phone. He had no idea who he was talking to, but was so polite and “normal” sounding it chilled me to the marrow. These last days of even a glimmer of cognizance, hard as they are on your nerves, are a treasure, as you well know. You are a wonderful daughter.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That must have been very difficult, Matt. Yes, she still knows me, but during the last visit she said, “Rick is asking about the apartment for Erica.” Rick is my brother and clearly she was using my name as a stand-in for someone else.

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