Back breaking jobs have taken a toll,
her back curves like a winding knoll,
doctors can only do so much,
but surgery at least, gets her up.

Sheer grit has scaled forbidding walls
of poverty and child abuse, a tall
order in view of her prescription
drug abuse and life as a recluse.

Myriad nights she paces the floor
checking locks on windows and doors,
haunted by a mute childhood wind,
A cycle of nocturnal fear recurring.

Mountain peaks above my quest,
she practices love and forgiveness.
For her, life’s goal is in a Christian search,
she tells me from her well-earned perch.

Not to portray her as a saint.
With a temper ‘Hot as Hades,’ saint
she aint. Still she sees beauty in
sunbursts spilled over cresting hills.

Mother to many, her siblings to start,
then her own, then ‘Mother of Hearts’
to those too bruised to do anything
but fight the arms that held them.

When rocky ground looks bleak ahead,
or distant haze seems steeped in dread,
I grasp a knot in her trailing rope.
a curl of pride winds through my chest.

Love, Jody,