by Joyce Wilson
She finishes triumphant, proud to win.
We crane our necks and snap her photograph,
And here I want to emphasize begin
Although the day is at its end. We laugh.
She turns. I see my mother’s silhouette
And hear her voice, its educated lilt,
Interrogate, “How to avoid regret
And on the way elude the trap of guilt?”
I wonder whether efforts of four years
Have fired up and quickly boiled away
Distinctions between real and fostered fears.
“You learned the riddle of the Sphinx,” I say.
She smiles as though, through simple force of will,
She might escape the lessons of her fate—
As if, because of years she spent at school,
The riddle and the Sphinx will have to wait.
Copyright © 2003 by Joyce Wilson