The Elephant In the Room – poem by Jenna

My mom had the spirit of an elephant.
Strong and resilient, yet
beautiful and gentle.
My mom loved elephants.
So do I.

She used to read me stories;
I remember the cadence of her voice
as she sat on the edge of my bed,
then she kissed me goodnight.

When I was young she’d sing,
usually Doris Day.
“Que sera, sera,
what will be, will be,”
I sung along.

When she put on her makeup
and curled her hair for work;
I’d talk to her and she’d laugh.
I loved her laugh.

She always went to my concerts, but
I remember the first time
that I didn’t see her
among the sea of faces
in the audience.

“Where’s mom?” I asked.
My stomach twisted
when I saw my dad’s expression.
We talked in private.

Two months later:

By then I could navigate the labyrinthine halls
of the hospital. It was like
my second home.

After all, my mom was my heart;
and, isn’t home where the heart is?
There was an elephant in the room:
I thought it was temporary.

3 years later:

From the clean white sheets
of her hospice bed,
my mom still smiled.
She smiled as if nothing was wrong,
as if life couldn’t be better.

Because,
my mom had the spirit of an elephant.
Strong and weak, yet
beautiful and gentle.
My mom loved elephants.
So do I.

But every living thing, including elephants,
has to die eventually.

7 thoughts on “The Elephant In the Room – poem by Jenna”

  1. This is beautiful and poignant, Jenna. No doubt difficult for you to write and post, but also probably cathartic.

    I love you. I miss her, too.

  2. This is so beautiful Jenna! I can’t express my thoughts very well, but I love this poem! I love you. I love her. I miss her so much!

  3. Very well written and beautiful. Thank you for sharing it. You are all in my thoughts and heart, especially this month. I love you.

  4. Oh Jenna, this is so beautiful and says so much. I am sure your mother would love it and be very proud of you as I am. I want a copy of this poem to frame and hang next to your mother’s picture. Thank you for sharing with us. I love you so much.

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