Harder to define in Grandmother’s chocolate eyes
but clear in the light eyed aunts and mother
the look that says “If you do—punishment is swift.”
And the glance of doubt, “Do it your way. I hope it works.”
The message is fear and a promise, “I will pray for you.”
Encouragement. “Go ahead. Little engines can.”
Eyes wet with shared joy and grief.
With age there is an unfathomable look
part wisdom, part resignation that says,
“I wish I could take all I’ve learned
and copy the files into your head
but a time for teaching is over.
What is mine will remain with me.”
It is the look I see in the mirror