Wednesday, April 14, 2010

There was a time that I thought
She had died on purpose
After the many times she tried before
I thought at last she'd succeeded

Looking back now I am remembering
It all differently though
Because you can remember things differently
Even if the events remain

It could be a matter of perspective
Maybe of maturity
A re-imagining once
Coping has been learned

Because now I see clearly
The freshly baked cookies
On the counter
The flat of pansies and potting soil
On the garage floor
The clothes recently purchased
Their receipt
And the gifts and gift wrap
On the table

All of these thing imply
A return
Not a suicide

And what I see in particular
And most often
Is the carelessly discarded purple t-shirt
Rumpled on the vanity

The one she'd put on
Earlier that morning
Maybe after her shower
Or her last cup of coffee

And she had it on while buying
Flowers and gifts and
Clothes that didn't fit
Probably even while baking cookies

And it was the one she wore while
Visiting an old neighbor
Who impulsively snapped
A polaroid that day

My mother's last live photo
The one taken
In the purple t-shirt,
Her final witness


  1. Very moving. And good to know.

    We can't change the past. But isn't it interesting what can be found there? Perhaps our ability to look back is underrated.

  2. Thanks :). My mom died on April 20 and even if I'm not thinking about it consciously (which I'm usually not) when it comes around to April it is always there. So, it helps to write it out. And yeah, I think so, perception changes. I'm not sure why that matters, but it does.

  3. Pansy


    The history of the pansy is linked forever to the viola, its ancestor. viola is a large genus containing 500 species according to Hortus Third. Violas were familiar to people living in Greece in the 4th century B.C. The center of origin for violas was continental Europe. The hardy but delicate viola was cultivated by the Greeks for herbal medicinal use and much later inspired William Shakespeare to write of romance.

    Some time after the 4th century B.C. in Europe, an acute observer noticed a plant similar to a viola but growing in open areas with more sunlight. This plant thrived in alpine meadows and on rocky ledges. Someone named this plant a wild pansy. Possibly, it was a person living in France who noticed this plant because the word pansy is traced back to the French word pensee, meaning thought or remembrance.

  4. Our perspective changes as we change, and with it our memories, or at least the vantage point from which we view those memories.

    I've missed your writing and the emotions and thoughts it evokes. So glad you found me again.

  5. They really do.

    And me, too :).