Poem: A Little Askew by Mark Tulin

You change when your mother dies.
Life is a little askew
like a picture that won’t hang straight
or a sliding door
that always rolls off the hinges.

You notice your image in a mirror,
and your pulse speeds up.
You don’t have much of a heart
or an appetite
but you do remember
your mother’s anniversary date
and the color of her eyes.

Your life changes when your mother dies.
No more visits or homemade pies.
No Sunday phone calls or question why’s.
You feel guilty for things you never said.
You wake in the middle of the night only to realize
that the one person who truly loved you
has her face on a plastic prayer card
that sits on your bedroom dresser.

I am an author, poet, humorist, and short story writer from Palm Springs, California. I write about various topics, from my early childhood in Philadelphia to my years as a family therapist and finally to my soul-searching in California. These are poetic narratives that may have humorous or serious content or both. Either way, I hope my poetry and stories resonate with you.

28 comments on “Poem: A Little Askew by Mark Tulin

  1. Wonderfully penned. I felt this piece wholeheartedly, as this is something I am currently working with my therapist on. The fate of my own mother. I have to admit, I teared up while reading this.
    Again, very well written! 😥

  2. So many images, and emotions in this piece. Your mother would love it.

  3. Lovely. I’m so sorry. You have my sympathy.

  4. Mark, I feel for you, it is so hard to lose our mothers. At the same time it means we lived with love and care as we grew
    and had a best friend when we became adults.
    Your poem describes beautifully how you felt, life tilted.


  5. It must be wonderful to have had a mother like this…

  6. I love the last four lines.

  7. Irene Ruiz

    And that ache in your heart never stops and wish “wonder what I could have done different Love you Mom

  8. Mark, this breaks me apart!!! So good!!!!

  9. Awesome post, Mark!!!

  10. Grief and love all wrapped together. Thank you for sharing this.

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