Sunday, 18 August 2013

it could be a letter...

Did you know
I wanted little pink ballerina shoes

but you gave me black ones

Did you know
I wanted to play the piano

but your conservatorium days were your dark memory
of scales and scales

you gave me a xylophone
and closed the door

Did you know
I wanted friends
to bring them home
to share

but always you saw the neighbourhood as
a lower class

you would bring me up
the right way

Did you know
I went to church every Sunday
and church groups
and weekend camps
to escape

at least I missed your white gloved hand
checking my dusting skills
on your precious dressing table

Did you know
when Dad died
I hated all those people organising your life
our lives
and never once
did you notice
I missed him
never once 
did you notice
I was there

Did you know
when you died
I saw you
sitting in my car
just sitting there 
behind the wheel
watching me 
as I walked from the classroom

Did you know
I thought you may have come back
to start again

Linking to:
dVerse - Sent With a Stamp


Brian Miller said...

what a cold life...particular for me when the father passed and your own mourning going missed...whata touching end, that they might come back to start again as well...heavy heart...

Cressida de Nova said...

Powerful and authentic poem.Our resilience keeps some of us up and running...a good thing to have!

Mary said...

What a painful poem this is! It doesn't sound like your mother ever understood you at all. So very sad.

Anonymous said...

oh, this is tough. i hope you can make peace with the past one day- it must have been so hard to write this.
beautiful, raw emotional poem.

Anonymous said...

Gemma- this is a stunning story- in its anger and grief - wow -K

Laurie Kolp said...

What a shame. To see her sitting behind the steering wheel after her death is a fine example of how much she drove your life... oops, I'm talking about my mother (although she's still alive, thank goodness).

Anonymous said...

how very sad, for a child to have had to miss out on so much that could have made her life bearable, never mind joyous

kaykuala said...

So poignant and so touching! One can't get it over with not with parents. Beautiful take Gemma!


Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

That one need to be written, I think! Horrifying thought at the end; glad it (evidently) didn't turn out that way.

Sharp Little Pencil said...

Gemma, you opened your heart and truly bled an intimate letter to your mom. Sounds like there was a lot that needed to be expressed, and you truly did it. One of the best answers to the prompt I've read all night. Peace, Amy

kelvin s.m. said...

...sadly that you have to experience such dark childhood days but you let it all happen to you... you let them make it happen to you... and how can you rebel when they're your only family & that you can only share a living with 'em once in a lifetime... bitter memories finding their room in poetry... thanks for freeing 'em from your heart... smiles...

ninotaziz said...

Oh Gemma…this made me tear a bit. I just read a sad poem by Bjorn, and now this.

Perhaps I need to stop reading poetry for just a few minutes.

This touched me deeply.

Björn said...

Oh that darkness of a childhood that's governed by harshness and too much obsession with pride and performance.. very touching.

Heaven said...

So well done ~ I felt the sadness and coldness of growing up without real good friends and not grieving for a parent who died ~ I too am touched by this ~

Myrna R. said...

Gemma this is very sad. Perhaps she came back seeking forgiveness. Perhaps she just did the best she could. Still, sounds like it hurt you. Hope there's some healing in writing about it.

Susan said...

Ouch. This started sweet enough, but the refrain "Did you know" foreshadowed the horror to come. Yes, it seems a little thing, but it looms and haunts.

Wyeth Bailey said...

Very sad, very moving. I'm sorry her death left you with these important things unsaid. My own mother is alive, but lacks the emotional maturity and the empathy to hear me if I did tell her such brutal truths. I don't believe in forgiveness (I'm a big fan of the late author and psychiatrist Alice Miller on the topic). But I'm slowly learning to spend time with her again, because she's mostly harmless now. I'm trying to love her without hurting me. It's slow going, but I believe in love. Maybe this letter and your other expressions of grief will help you. Alice Miller says that what we really need to heal is someone "to share our outrage " at how we were hurt. Of course the details are different for everyone. But I share your outrage. You deserved better than all that cold. Beautiful, effective poem. Made me shiver. Thank you for sharing. Take care.

Sharp Little Pencil said...

Gemma, thanks for commenting at Sharp Li'l. I came over and had another look at this... the chill of that relationship could have been crippling, but do you see what heaven you have made on earth by rejecting that coldness? I was having a nature vs. nurture conversation... Nature gets a bad rap, because it's our essential nature to choose our own paths. Even stronger on the second read! Amy

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