to my mother.

in a small corner of my mind,
in my brain where synapses fire and chemicals react,
it's still there. and it manifests
as a numb emptiness in the center of my chest.

i shut out the world.
i close my eyes and try to see--try to feel--
but it isn't the same.
no dull ache; no heavy breath; no sobbing sadness.

it's there--i know it is!
but time and trials and tears
have buried it like so many leaves turned to dirt
on a quiet forest floor.

sometimes there are flashes--smoke signals to lead my way:
when i hear your voice from my mouth, or see your smile in my mirror
but always, always, i find a dead end
when i thought i had found the trail.

how heartless of my brain to hide you.
how my heart wills my mind to uncover!
i fear i've lost you on purpose, to soothe my pain,
but all the same it seems so cruel.

i have you, but i don't have you.
all i have is what remains.
and with each minute, day, month, and year,
the memory is farther away.


TKW said...

"smoke signals to lead my way"...what a great line.

I can feel your sorrow here. Maybe your memory (the fading of it) is trying to protect you somehow?


Justine said...

We all have our ways of coping with loss. I agree with Kitch - perhaps your fading memory protects you from your despair.

SuziCate said...

Beautiful...with each new memory we create, what we once were changes just a little bit until oer time we can hardly recognize who we were.

AmandaRaeShelton said...

Wow. This is truly powerful. I have tears in my eyes. I cannot imagine losing a parent. Cherish the moments when you see her and feel her in yourself and in your boys.

Amber said...

Beautiful. Poignant. Raw. Real.


C (Kid Things) said...

Time is a very funny thing. It leads us to our future, while slipping us away from our past. Beautiful post.

Anonymous said...

I know this. I know this so well. It hurts doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

You have said, so beautifully, what is in my heart. Amazing, raw, beautiful poem.

ck said...

This was so beautiful, Jenn. And so brave of you to write.

"When i hear your voice from my mouth, or see your smile in my mirror..." I also see and hear my mother in myself more and more each day.

Rudri said...

Unfortunately I know this sadness. It lingers in the crevices, reminders of loss everywhere.

Thanks for sharing your sorrow.

Aging Mommy said...

This is beautifully written and oh so true, the memories of the mind do fade with time, but I think the memories of the heart stay with us forever and your Mom will be in your heart forever.

Corinne said...

This is so well written... I wish I had some words to help...

Kelly said...

Your poem is heart wrenching, bittersweet, honest, and full of sorrow. I think this is what I dread most about how time keeps marching on. What will my children remember? What will they forget?

Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful and heartfelt post. I can feel you missing her through the screen.

Linda Pressman said...

Found you thru momalom. What an incredible, evocative poem.

It's really amazing how many of us have used poetry to convey some of these topics. This one is beautiful.

SuziCate said...

have buried it like so many leaves turned to dirt
on a quiet forest floor - I love this line. THis is poignant. I'm sorry you have lost your mother...I can not begin to imagine the pain. I wrote a post several weeks ago about the fear o losing mine. Thanks for sharing such a heart-felt post.