Next of Kin

1. Let me tell a little bit of your story
And how your long life delivered to you,
And to pick up the points of connection you made,
Though at the time, me, how little I knew.

Your friends numbered many, they sought you,
And your lovers did follow you too.
You walked like success in their circles, you know,
Granting each one a vision of you.

And me, I watched and I wondered, I learned
Just how far a resemblance might go.
You know, it was just an old cowboy expression,
And from those movies I made the connection:

I came to see how I might fit in;
Had to be you who was my next of kin.
No further asking after my next of kin.

2. Now what if we had turned back the years once,
And I convinced you to let me take you there,
To see events that early shaped your mind and
Lingered on beneath your salt-and-pepper hair?

Before you were a mother, wife, churchgoer or friend,
Your heart was hurt far too young to understand it
When your daddy took sick and soon left you bare
To fashion your world with what life had handed you.

And me in my time, I thought I glimpsed the full extent
Of the pain that your captive struggle had wrought.
How it forced you to create anew an unbroken heart,
Where you were endlessly filling up the empty part.

Those early moments hide where truth begins,
They left you longing for your next of kin --
Backwards searching for your next of kin.

3. Everybody needs something to treasure, we know,
And for many that treasure was you.
They embraced your rough edges, each hoping to fill
What they lacked from their own point of view.

But for you, what you needed you could never quite grip,
For your present was ruled by your past.
Could you never change from to see what you might become,
Was there really no kind of cure that could last?

So for long, there I was, just drinking this in,
Thinking, was there something left for me to take home?
But there was just you deserting the center by then,
As we waited where we could no longer enter.

And that is how we saw the end begin,
All of us standing there, your next of kin.
Goodbye to you our mother and next of kin.