Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What Does It Feel Like

What did it feel like
As you walked away
From me
Your daughter?
What does that feel like,
Walking away from your child?
How does the air move around your body?
What shoes does one wear to do this?
Did you tread gingerly,
The dusty ground making crunching sounds?
Did perhaps the ground slip out from under you,
Quaking under your feet with the knowledge

of what you were about to do?
Or did you run,
Fast and hard and away
so as not to feel My heart
Two years from my birth,
Break apart.
Did you tilt your head as you walked?
Did you look back and see me?
Did you then drive to your mother’s for comfort,
Or to forget,
Did you walk hastily through to her backyard,
Falling to your knees,
Praying to the bluebirds you found there?
Did their wings tell of my loss?
Each flap my execution.
In those moments after your exit,
Did my scent remain with you?
At the sight of the stars,
did it smash into you,
Smearing you into the oily Earth,
The realization that,
God help you,
I was probably looking at the same stars,
Lips quivering,
Without you?
And later, when you sniffed the piano key white powder deep into your nose,
Did you think your heart,
And therefore mine,
Could forget
Through numbness?
Did you think, at all?
And when it stormed, late into the night,
Did you ever awaken with a start, panicking that I too,
May be somewhere in my tiny girl body,
Wracked with thunderous grief,
With the total annihilation of your leaving?

And when my father took me, at three years old,
For himself in his bed,
Could you feel it?
When you shopped at the market every Saturday,
Bumping into that sweet ole Creole lady,
As you Mumbled, ‘Excuse me, Maa’m…”
and the sun colored oranges caught your darting eye.
Did you wonder, then,
Does Sarah, my daughter,
Like oranges?
Or were oranges oranges and storms storms and mother’s hearts just numb.
And what of your father, your mother,
What did they teach you that you believed I was better off with anyone but the woman who birthed me,
My Mother?