she is sick
and, on her death bed
the decisions of her life before
seem smaller
than they were.

she feels her daughter’s hand
in hers,
knows this will be a last memory
for them both
and her heart flutters
for the first time,
in such a long time.

what she wants
is to finally say
to tell the baby,
girl, now woman
tenderly at her side,
to tell her, about life.

dispense, if not advice
then what she has learnt.
in an attempt
to spare her child
needless pain,
and needless guilt.

but not just that.
a desire to come clean, bring
a honesty of failure
of negligence
of that other,
unknown existence.

she holds her daughter’s hand
but in the end
says nothing. instead, she
splits her primary past
as a woman
from her secondary,
as a mother –
and takes the first
with her,
to the grave.

her daughter will make her own way,
and must.
remembering thus
only her mother’s love.
untainted of selfish,
other passions.
and therefore saintly
just as a mother’s love
is supposed to be.