The Things We Say for Love

I called my mother every day
Just to hear her voice.
“Are you okay?” I asked.
“Are you okay?” she asked
That’s all we needed to know.
Those calls are over and it will never be okay.
Now I’m the mother
texting my children every day, asking
“Are you okay?” and
waiting for my children to check in every day
to find out if I’m okay.
Sometimes I am not
but I don’t want them to know.
I wonder now how often
my mother reassured me
all was well and
she was okay,
when all was not well, when she was not okay.

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