I’ve thought a lot of my mother lately. In therapy Friday afternoon we talked about traveling, the orchestra, theater, opera and all the cultural things she loved. It’s a strange contrast between the tyrant and the artist but there was in fact a contrast, one I loved. I recall my mother singing around the house. I knew when she sang it would be a safe day. For some reason when she sang all the vile went away.
One of my mother’s favorite animals is the African Elephant which is why I purchased a notebook with one on the cover. I also liked the quote which says: Colors speak louder than words.
The loss is incredible.
Grant mercy please.
She left deep wounds, many questions, but no answers. I have to find resolution in wreckage.
In the notebook I’ve written letters to my mother, some kind, others telling her exactly how I felt living with her. These letters and drawings are just another step in healing from the war god I called mother.
Mother loved poetry.
She sang soprano.
Her favorite color was grey followed by mauve.
She only used flesh tone or light pink on her nails.
Her math skills were impeccable.
She believed herself superior to others.
Cursing was rare as was yelling.
The only time I remember her cursing is when mad at me.
I thought she was ugly. I thought she was beautiful.
I loved her. I hated her.
Sometimes I feel as if I know too little about the woman I call mother.
Despite what she was, there were times I walked beside my mother proudly.
Elephants, grey elephants, no ivory, female, the cow.
She remembers his scent from forever ago.
It could sneak in the wind and mix with every sort of beast,
sleeping creature, swaying tree,
dying carcass smothering in its own dung
and she’d still recognize it.
Its a sent that burns through the air and rips through nostrils
bleeding out like rain on ground thirsty for anything, anything.
Its a scent that brings miscarriage to every gazelle, impala, the buffalo to field mouse.
His stench will blanket the ground,
it will hover and never rise.
Every tree will drink from it, every vine, twig and wild thing will suckle from the only food they have.
Though she remembers, she too will nibble the last of the green vines
and she too will suffer miscarriage as she
falls to her knees, to her side, on the earth
with a great sigh.
Faith Magdalena Austin
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