I parent my mother now
as she forgets to brush her teeth.
Our roles are reversed as I take car keys
away. Privileges revoked.
Scolding, I remind her
not to leave dishtowels on the stove
as one begins to
But then I remember what parenting
was all about.
Raising them to be
To be safe.
To be kind.
To practice good hygiene.
And they grew up and
even if I had to remind them time
and time again.
Parenting produced results and growth.
I do not parent my mother.
Our roles are not reversed.
For in telling her to wash her face,
or change her clothes
or put a napkin on her lap as soup
spills from her spoon,
I’m only preparing myself for