my mother has returned to where she began

my mother has returned to where she began
to where she has always been

rising from a stroke leaving her comatose and mute
both child and mother of children

we marvel at her lifting a hand an arm a leg
nodding yes or no

we clear the room so nurses can bathe her
or guide her to the bathroom

a therapist patiently tells us to count to her
or read her nursery rhymes

we marvel as she feeds herself applesauce
on a spoon in her shaking left hand

as she wrestles herself back toward independence
earned once before many decades ago

my mother has returned to where she began
to where she has always been

—P.L. Thomas