On Reading a Letter from My Mother

She wrote it
in 1981.
Mother of two
for three years.
It was the first
times she ever
signed Mom.

I am familiar
with this hesitation;
I know what it
is like to not
recognize your
own reflection.

Identity can
shift quickly.
One person becomes
another without
even realizing it.

It is not fair to
place definition
in the hands
of passerbys.

Self-acceptance takes
a little bit longer.
Even a heart
full of love can
be unrecognizable
to one who never
held one before.

It may take years,
three in her case,
to know herself by
the word everyone
called her
since April of 1978.

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