She shuffled along

barely picking up her feet

cane supported her right hand.

daughter on her left

guided the way.

Wrapped in a coat

warm woolen red.

 a lavender hat

tiny grey pompom on top

pulled down tightly over her ears

eyes barely visible.

Daughter steadied her

readied her

as she sat down.

at the table

coat and hat remain in place.

 Daughter quietly

almost inaudibly asked

two eggs, home fries and toast?

her head nodded.


another nod.

water, no ice?


She would have wanted scrapple

eggs over easy

rye toast, dry

coffee, black

and water, iced.   Loaded with ice.

no coat,

definitely no hat.

Coffee poured.

raised the mug to her own lips

and sipped.

daughter whispered

head nodded.

she readied her for the meal

sleeves of warm red coat pushed up

shamrock bib tied around her neck.

She would have balked at the bib.

 a firm reminder she was the mother,

not the baby.

Quiet conversation.

loving regards.

peaceful, appreciative  moments

passed between.

Overwhelmed by the scene

at the next table.

by the rush of memories.

the two of them.

same movie, different set.


for taking me

to another place and time.

for the flashback.

Their breakfast paid.

by the witnesses.



©Maribeth Batcho

All Rights Reserved.


14 thoughts on “Anonymous

  1. Your poem is beautifully arranged…tears welled in my eyes as I read it thinking of my own mom and the struggles with role reversal (me now the parent) making choices, steadying, meeting needs and requests-the care giver’s struggle…still allowing autonomy but with a guiding hand…so hard. So hard!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kind words. Appreciated, Amy. I was hoping that gratitude, paying it forward came through, as was as a sen se of sharpened observation. Did that work? This event happened Saturday, and was one of the first times I was able to observe from the outside looking in. Caregiving walks a very fine line. Rewarding. Exhausting. Lonely at times. I understand your challenge and respect you for what you are doing for your mom. Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I got this in email a couple of days ago, but could not find it on your blog, figured you removed it after the email went out. I was totally drawn by the format and the specific details you included. It made me think of taking my mom out. We are not at that care giver stage yet. She still lives independently. Love the new ending. You convey so much heart with so few words.


    1. I hit the wrong button and pulled it back. Same thing this morning when I accidentally hit spam and now can’t retrieve the message…did you do the same with a piece about taxes?
      Thanks for reading twice. It was interesting to be an outsider looking in, comparing the scene to my own experiences.
      Thanks again, Elsie!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is beautiful and touching. I love the offset thoughts. You were so observant and I’ve been sitting here thinking about how this could be happening anywhere in the world every second of the day. That makes is powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, this is so powerful and poignant, Maribeth. You are masterful with words. I love the alternating left right sides of this poem, and of the moment witnessed as a trigger for a jaunt down your own memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Michelle. Your words are kind for a novice. The real show stopper was the mother-daughter team, so tender and loving they brought tears to my eyes. I knew we had to offer them something, so we bought their breakfasts…


    1. It can be indeed. Nothing golden about those years for most people. The experience of care giving can be challenging at best, especially if you have no one to help. Watching my mother suffer was the worst. In retrospect, it would have been better for her, for all of us, had she left earlier. But the day I observed this unfold before me, I wanted to bring joy and surprise to this mother-daughter team, so we bought them breakfast, and maybe, just maybe, some life to both of them, even if just for a day or two. Thank you for reading and especially for responding to the writing.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Very touching poem. You really capture the essence of love. Although your gesture of buying them breakfast may seem small, it is the little things that matter. I will take your message in my heart today and find a way to pay it forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your writing conveys so much feeling. The arrangement of the words on the page, the use of italics – great techniques for this touching poem – poignant, painting vivid scenes from both tables. I am amazed how you can do this with such few words! But you do it beautifully! Writing from the heart is always the best kind.

    Liked by 1 person

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