Mom Betty Addresses the Nature of Proportion

After “She was the song of my dark hour,” a photograph by Paul Tañedo

I woke up
and I was old—
It’s hard to judge
if this new country
was worth
its costs—
Fil and Eileen
educated themselves—
They blessed me
with their happiness—
Roy and Glen
lost themselves
to a car accident
and something worse
(that I will not reveal
even for a poem)—
When I see myself
reflected in a mirror
I turn away to hide
both my eyes, all of my self—
when half of your
children are destroyed
the half who flourish
cannot compensate
                        as if
a heart breaks
exactly down the middle.

Eileen Tabios, "Mom Betty Addresses the Nature of Proportion." Copyright © 2017 Eileen Tabios. Used by permission of the author for PoetryNow, a partnership between the Poetry Foundation and the WFMT Radio Network.
Source: PoetryNow (2017)
More Poems by Eileen R. Tabios