My beautiful precious mom, Marlene Marks Kornick, died in 2020. Her death was made more painful because she declined during the global pandemic, when it was impossible to fly across the country to visit.
I have been writing poems to her –
Dear Mom –
I hereby dedicate every laundry folding to you,
and every drawer newly organized –
I promise I will slow down –
because I have finally figured out that that is how you became the most beautiful folder.
When you would visit us –
You would organize our kitchen drawers,
and help fold the laundry into beautiful neat packages,
you would clean my jewelry until it sparkled
and write lists of the cleaning supplies I should get (you asked – how do you not have Bar Keeper’s Friend?)…
When you would leave,
our house would feel graced by your presence
not only by the memories we would create together,
but just by opening the laundry closet or the kitchen drawers
and seeing your beautiful handiwork.
And I, always in a big rush, with little kids, and then big kids,
could never make the towels and sheets and drawers so neat and beautiful.
But last night,
as I folded our laundry,
with tears in my eyes,
I decided to channel you.
I s.l.o.w.e.d my movements down,
and folded with intention, with consciousness,
to bring care and attention to each item,
and as I did, Mom, you were with me.
I think of you, now, in the most ordinary of daily tasks
made sacred in your absence.