Tuesday Morning In Bed

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In bed
my mother’s voice wakes me up –
or maybe it was the phone
ringing, ringing, ringing through
my subconscious as voices speak
hushed, hushed, hushed on both ends.
Bad news.
She began it as if it were merely a change
of plans.
Before the words could curl pass her lips I
Knew, those words having been
expected for months.
I knew they were coming for months.
Time didn’t stop – wouldn’t
stop – though a heart did, a mind

On one level it was a relief
(it was such a relief) to not
cringe every time my mother got that
look on her face, that look, that look,
that spoke thousands of the impending
storm. The look had come far too often within
those months. Each time the wave
would sweep past us, knocking
down others. Knocking down
others but not us. Until the wave
sank back down shore, tempting, taunting, before it
came at full
Submerged, those moments, seconds
after the wave has hit are some of the most
peaceful ever to be known. Gravity loses
its long fought battle, tug of war, and you,
you are just there. Water and you and silence.

The waves spat me out, flinging
me against the jagged rocks as
time resumed, going
faster, to catch up with
what was lost.
Reality and childhood collided.
It all collided
as fairy tales turned to ash
no greater then the soot
Cinderella washed away with
her blistered hands.
She was gone,
the person my grandmother had been
now only lived in minds of others. Distorted
by youth, my images have festered;
they have grown murky like the dead’s
“She’s watching over you.”
For weeks, for months, after
that day, those words haunted
me. With every move I made came
the possibility I
would disappoint her. All seeing, all
knowing, my life became frigid –
I became a doll – until I was freed,
until I broke out, with my
aunt’s simple, complex explanation that
she did not so much as watch us, no
not watch us, she protected us.
Years have passed, my religion is
all but gone, but I hold on to that thought.

In bed,
The phone’s ringing wakes me up –
or maybe it was my mother’s voice
calling, calling, calling through
my subconscious as the world keeps
spinning, spinning, spinning through
Bad news.

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