For Martha Jane Vogel
July 28, 1929- January 19, 2016
My Mother’s Art
She does not compromise what she alone sees.
The generosity of her hands on the canvas or the piano,
the counterpoint of her brushstrokes and her voice,
the walls become a pastiche or hold a rhapsody.
Moving through eras of little expectancy, rising up
out of her service, when her world turned to face
the sun she did not rebel but floated forward
and now beauty exists where there had been voids.
We are juxtaposed in the choir lofts for decades
and still there are songs we haven’t sung.
When her fingers were on the piano keys for me
my small voice strained to equal the passion,
the music eternally suspended in me.
What my mother can do always has a future
without a murmur of leaving it behind.
So I understand what I can become, what I must become
for the infinity of mothers and daughters
for her mother, for my daughter.