I walk bent, my head twisted toward the ground.
My eyes watching the earth at my feet, my neck is too tired to hold my head up, so I see only dirt at my feet.
My back weak, my neck tired, I see only the earth and humanity at my feet.
One time I walked straight, my head held high.
I felt the warmth of the sun on my face, I saw the searching tops of the tallest trees.
Back then I thought I saw hope, but now I know that was just an illusion.
My heart aches with open wounds - the losses of years past have never healed - they don't fester, but they don't heal.
I am obligated to walk until the day when the final wound will destroy my heart.
I lay down, and once again feel the suns warmth. Life is not only for the strong, but also for the helpless, those without hope, we must walk one more day, and one more day, waiting for the final round.
Look at the wounds on my heart. Can you see that there is room for only one or two more? This one is for brother, Debbie, the calf, the child, the parent.
Debbie, the little girl who fought cancer for a year, but always hopeless from the first day the cancer word was spoken. The hopelessness started years before, I don’t remember when.
This scar is for my child, my son. All I know of him is a cry at his birth - I will always hear that cry in my heart for a child, my child. written by Kay sometime in the mid 1980's
For as long as I can remember our mother was depressed. Of course, there were plenty of good, happy days, so many happy memories we have shared through the years, but always a sad undercurrent ran through. As her daughter I didn't understand the depth of her sadness, I suppose I assumed it was because she was a single mother with no child support raising three daughters, along with all life's tragedies and setbacks that everybody must endure. We girls did not know about the son mom had given up for adoption, and she never mentioned him to us, even on her death bed. Until I read this poem of hers, I didn't realize the depth of her grief. We wish she would have told us, but Mom was so private, and perhaps the telling would hurt more.
Mom has been gone for eighteen years now, and it still hurts to know more of her sorrow. Yet I am consoled by this knowledge of a facet of her remarkable story, from her perspective. Mom was Elizabeth's fourth child, and anyone who has read Elizabeth's biography/memoir "Signs Along the Way" knows that Mom's childhood was anything but easy. All of the siblings had traumatic experiences while growing up and had to make tough decisions that affected their entire lives. But they were also very close, and also did what they could to help each other work through their traumas. Mom was, as were her siblings, beautiful, intelligent, independent, strong, and industrious - traits they got from their mother. Fortunately for us they were also a family of writers, and saved a lot of their correspondence, poetry, short stories, and journals.
Through the years I have also written down some of my life experiences, as I'm sure a lot of us do. Hopefully my own kids will be interested enough in me to read through them, and not wait until I'm dead. I now know more about my mother as a child, woman, provider, poet, teenager, person, some of her hopes and dreams - her character is so much more than I ever imagined. I understand her better than before, and that soothes my soul.
“It’s funny how sometimes the people you’d take a bullet for are the ones behind the trigger.” – Unknown
If an inquisitive somebody were to demand a DNA analysis be done on the 3 sisters, he may not be surprised to find those twisted strands are coated with a healthy dose of printer's ink, given our pedigree and the many literary contributions from our maternal ancestors: