03 November 2017

Mother Lost

An old poem from my undergrad days, of discovering buried memories in therapy – from a different time before my mother lost herself, abandoned by a patriarchy that understood nothing and cared even less.

Mother Lost
In her young heart she loved
She wanted nothing more than to give love
She wanted children, a crowd about her
A song unique for each bright star
She loved her babies, sang her joy
Gently cuddled and held them safe
Three times with ease brought to life
Blest gifts, her fair headed delights
Then came the fourth, hard fought
Ripped from her body, at last
With all  her might, the last dram of heart
At last, brought through alive

Why to look upon that face
What darkness left behind
A burden, a sorrow, each shining bright face
Take and take and take and take
Nothing more she wants now, save death
Oh no, say the doctors, the nurses, the society
Lock her away till she learns to lock down her pain
Don’t guide her back through to the light
No more songs, joyless duty and burden are hers
Her anger, her blackened soul, 
Locked behind closed doors
It’s not our concern
Send her home to her babies
No matter their plight

ABOUT MOTHER IN THIS POEM: She was so very different, so loving and attentive before all the pain, that I actually blocked out those good memories for decades -- they were just too painful to recall in light of how bad things got. The thing that always hurts me most, though, is that my two sisters who were already born, when she had the last baby, were too young to retain any of those good memories; and the baby sister never knew that loving and attentive mother at all.

Twelve years she was lost in her madness, torturing her children. The same children she'd pined for and dreamed of since adolescence; she'd only ever wanted to be a wife and mother. See, she was born blind and had to be sent off to a school for the blind, away from her family; she gained her sight later. She grew up very disconnected from them. When she was home, she was the poor little blind girl whom they all coddled and cosseted -- but never connected on a fundamental level. She wanted that closeness of family for herself and her children. That might be the most tragic thing about my childhood… the poisoning of her dream.

Still… If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t change anything; everything that happened made the person I am, gave me this “now.” I’d suffer every indignity, every torment again not to miss out on my “now.” Embrace the Joy!

by D. Denise Dianaty
© 20 August 2014