I had spent many hours with her, Both young and grown. I had grown beside her kin, With a mother who shared her blood. She was reckless in my mother’s eyes, Wild as the wind that she flew on. A woman who lived by no law, But by principle of her own heart. She near always smiled at me, And she laughed at my cynicisms. We drank several nights away, At the bar, or on the step of a shop door. Like many young, I fled the nest, Spread my wings for lands afar, Leaving them all behind me, But visiting with growing infrequency. On my return there would be happy reunion, Drinks, songs, smokes, smiles, laughs. Gatherings of the now grown and their young, Besides our elders now older once more. But time did fly by quicker, And 15 months seems to blink fast. And soon I am beckoned back, Returning to see her again. My mother, as always, Holding the hands of my family, As a means to hold their souls, their bodies, And their strength, in an upwards fashion. Me, smiling through, as taught, Showing that the living are not afraid. I hold her hair 'twix my fingers, And braid in flowers as we laugh. I roll her smokes, before my own, The legality of them questionable, As she waves between here and there, Jittery with fear of being wedded. I paint over the hollowing skin, Lighten her sunken eyes, With a mixture of tones, pigments, Creams and powders, brushes and sponges. The clocks strikes and the camera clicks, She grins as she is wheeled along, I press the button as she makes vows, Promises to be short lived and kept. We drank, we smoked, we laughed, I sang, for she couldn’t any longer, I walked for her, towing the chair, And navigated with care and fear. Family gathered, united, strong again, Smiling at the simple pictures I captured, Wondering at the beauty of her, Of her soul, of her love. The woman wore purple, As a bride, draped in purple and white, As a mother, through waking night, As my aunt, when hugging me tight. The woman wore purple, And when I saw her last, she wore it still. Though I’ll never see her again, I know the woman wears purple.