You Can and You Can’t by Gary Galsworth

You can bear a lot, but sometimes you can’t talk about it.
My mother was like that.
She kept things on an even keel, smiled,
worked extra shifts on sore feet,
whispered kisses.
When she had to talk, she would at times give in and cry.
As a youngster I found that difficult to grasp. Discomforting.
It seemed an oddity of hers.
Now, in the ordinary present, in the array of passing days,
it’s still awkward to recall, but I know.

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