Those lost memories of you mother
Somehow I feel or sense your image
There amongst my past
Lost in what maybe darkness
But most likely confusion
Shaped by misconceptions
Of the reality you created for me
As mother and child
Now I see the confusion
Converge on your sanity
As if there is or was
A reality called the past
Can what was be what is
I remember the night, warm
Mid summer 1958 maybe 59
We pulled into a diner to use the phone
Looking for your brother
Uncle Grady and family
Moved to Live Oak
Migrants moving from place to place
Hoping for something better mostly worse.
You returned saying
"They're just one block back on the main highway"
Somehow this seemed auspices to be so close
Could have called their names
"Uncle Grady Aunt Dorothy we're here in California."
We backed out of the diner and pulled into
A long row of small cabins
Eerie those cabins
Part of a past that is shaded
In forgotten memories of mother and son
Now I drive past those vague
Shadows that occasion ghosts
In the night of my childhood.
I drive into your future
Live Oak Alzheimer Hospital
And there just beyond the tracks
On the other side of the main highway
Those cabins still stand
Small shanties filled was migrant dreams
Ideas wrapped in their turbans
Of spiritual enlightenment
I can only hope you remember this man
This boy your creation
Your once great dream of the future
Birthed in mid-America Paris Illinois
There on a small farm
Locked in contract as a sharecroppers wife
Your dreams I can only believe
Now as I move through the corridors of your world
I can only sense the pain of living
Knowing that your world is as real as mine
And yet I may often times be void
As you are lost in the darkness of my past
Mother it did hurt but for just a moment
When you looked into my eyes "I know you!",
Yes mother you know me as I know you
We move within our worlds
A covenant mother and son
Dream and undream

© 1997 Jim Cain