for my mama, who turns a year older today

suddenly
the precious

is the branch of eucalyptus
a grey green emblem
of my birth place -
found in a nearby yard,

is a letter in my hand,
with familiar curling
y's, dotted i's, crossed t's

are the weathered pages
of poetry and prose
and the knowledge
that you thumbed them
through your fingers,

are memories
so carefully collected
in my heart
of your smile,
your smell,
your voice quietly
travelling through the house

is the anticipation
of hearing your breath,
seeing your face near mine -
and watching you love
my babe,
as you do me -
tenderly,
so tenderly.