My Mother at Sixty-six

While the poetess drives from her parent’s home to Cochin, her old and ageing mother is sitting next to her and dozing open-mouthed. She studies her mother critically and takes note of her aging fast and of the fact that her face looks ashen like that of a corpse. She finds some diversion in the freshness of the lush green trees flashing past and children spilling out of their homes to play happily. After the security check at the airport, she sees her mother standing about a yard away, pale and colourless, like a late winter's moon. The pangs of nostalgia overwhelm her. It arouses in her the familiar childhood fear of losing her mother. Waving her good bye, she consoles her mother by telling her that she would meet her soon.

Deep down in her heart, she feels it might be the last time she is with her mother. As she leaves to board the plane, she takes one last look at her and flashes an artificial broad smile.

The poem expresses the poetess’s ‘desolation and terror of realising that life gradually matures towards death leaving behind youth and agility and that she can lose her mother. It would lead to her own abysmal loneliness and helplessness without her.

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