The Poem She Can Never Read

Earearby ojo16 Jan 2014

It stung.
And it stings,
Slapped my breath hostage
And held both barrels to my heart,
Because now he's noticed,
And if he's noticed, we're in trouble.
Nerve, unsteady, I crouch deep in the bones that you made me,
For your next cue and what I should do.

We used to speak figure of eights and think telephones to ring,
Now, sixes and sevens and smalltalk skirting,
So much shortfall said.
Distance allows truth to slowly sink my family crest cheeks,
The power of its vagueness holds a mist over us.
I am your betrayer tethering it to words,
But I'm floundering in our gaps for its shape.
Registering as Autumn’s parched breath on the back of your neck,
Nose prickles woken by the unfamiliar,
Slack in the rope casting off to sea,
Sort of, dot dot dot,
But sort of not.
The one who has always met me in the eye,
My ombrifuge, my dictionary,
The one who baked me back,
The only one when he was gone,
Is not quite here,
Not quite remembering,
Not quite Mom.

Grief peered me through frightened fingers to when you might be gone,
But never here in front of me and lost.

I will hatch a plan, it’s what I do.
Board up doors with books,
Barricade the past tense from conversation,
I'll keep you talking, keep you walking
So none of it leaves, none is lost.
Child fear swallowed long,
The blood we share takes truth to each cell,
This is one I can not control.
I will walk with the shadow of precocious child
who crowned herself Protector,
Bow to your rounding shoulders,
Forehead to forehead, I'll breathe your mind,
Mother-Daughter,
One and the same, Mo-Jo.

I owe you, Mom.
Turn in, turn to me.
Are you with me now?