My Mother

My mother was a dictionary.

She knew words that had been spoken for thousands of years.

She knew words that will never be spoken again.

She knew songs that will never be sung again.

She knew stories that will never be told again.

My mother was a dictionary.

My mother was a thesaurus,

My mother was an encyclopedia.

My mother never taught her children the tribal language.

Oh, she taught us how to count to ten.

Oh, she taught us how to say “I love you.”

Oh, she taught us how to say “Listen to me.”

And, of course, she taught us how to curse.

My mother was a dictionary.

 

Eulogy by Sherman Alexie

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