blue suitcase at nautilus teachings


we open pieces of memory
with a click, click, clack of
a rusty hinge…
we get lost in the scent
we return to
ashen pages
of days gone by
red wooden steps
colorless strings
of woven thoughts…
the faded colors
the once spoken words
the hand written notes
we read over and over
adrift in
watered remembrance.
we get flooded
and float buoyantly back
in time
to innocence-
running barefoot in Lords Park.
birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, babies…
the before death moments
standing vigilantly
as she whispers
“no, no, no…”
and tries to climb out
of her looming death
as we,
the family who love her
with hearts breaking
stand hand in hand
eyes closed
heads cast downward
in prayer
asking God to take
her home
away from and out of pain
to rest peacefully in
the pam of His hand…

we hold within our hands
a necklace, ring, jewelry box…
wedding dresses,
baptismal gowns
a hand beaded purse…
in her writing
slanted, thin, hard to read
which make you remember
her hands…
they held you
knit for everyone
wore grace, kindness, love, faith…
love, burdens, struggles, happiness
we feel the soft threads
of yesterday
in us
they still live
and with us
they will die
for there is sadness
in the finality
of this truth…
of those who lived life
in the unknowing of her…
all the time wondering
why oh why can’t i
paint for them
the magic
which was her,
the softness
which was her

why can’t i write
the words she would speak
to them
knowing how much
she would have loved them…
but then i do,
but they do not understand
a love a daughter has for her mother
whom they have never known…
i be so careful in my words
when what i want to say is,
“listen to me…”
wishing the whole time
they would read my story
let it envelope them
and understand
the undeniable connection
between mother and child
of protection
of unconditional love…
that once i dropped
all my masks-
of falsity
i began to wear
once my mother died
that they would see with clarity
i am love…
i am broken,
filled with imperfections
i am not my past…
if they would just listen
if they could clear
a tiny space
i would inhabit there
giving them strength, courage, voice…

but memories are strong
they tether us
to the barnacles
of our parents
a time when we lived in the
of their truths
felt abandoned
without worth…
softness pulls you back
to the moment,
before you lay
the remnants of her…
your fingers graze the softness
the balm of her love
squeezes you…
your head held high
you hear her voice
you walk along the beach
hear the waves crash
the wind kisses your painted memory
you see yourself
as a tiny sailboat
tossed and tattered
wearing the scars of life
you push forward
you open your sail up
to acceptance…
toss the keys
which once locked
her up
knock her off of her pedestal
and embrace
all that she was
all that you are
knowing one day
you too will be just a memory…
blue suitcase at your fingertips
you touch her once more
as tears glide down your cheeks…
“oh, mommy, i miss you…”
echoes across your lips
as you just walk through
rain, wind, storms
you have confidence in your heart
you know
you will never be alone
for even if it is just
the blue suitcase, faith and you
that will be enough…