My mother looks like a soldier going to war with her gas mask on.
When she closes her eyes, the radius of my world gets smaller and smaller.
She draws everyone and everything inwards.
We still pray over meals.
And I speak images of her walking on water,
Because she is afraid of drowning in her own lungs.
I hear Him call her "Daughter, daughter" over and over again;
"Daughter" like the bleeding woman who was not afraid to ask for what she needed.
He reminds me not to be angry at a father who runs,
And to be joyful for fathers who do not.
When she closes her eyes, words that have passed through the roof of my mouth a million times get redefined:
hospital wards where you leave your toothbrush
eating a bowl of soup
medication to get you through the hour
a title that is not limited to how many children a woman has by blood; a testimony to how big her heart is