Memory’s Mother

The Curling Tendrils

All around me , I see the memories. The whispers of my love, echoed through the years. Images of the place we lived, when all of us were there. Those times are over now, and isolation makes the distance so much greater. But still the tendrils curl from the past and steal under the door frames, thru the cracks in the walls, and deep into my heart.

In waking moments, bleary eyed, I try to grasp the essence of you as the dream recedes. Your scent lingers in my nostrils; recedes like the white foam of a wave vanishing into the eager sand. Why must the imprint flee-so rapidly? I had your housecoat in a Kipling, sealed like a time capsule. I would unzip it just enough to stuff my face in the hole, wuffling your smell for a moment; your baby again.

Eventually the Mommy smell dissipated in spite of me only wuffling for a second every month or so. Even this part of you had to go, leaving me only your favorite T Shirt (which I only put on once in the past 11 years only to whisk it off and ceremoniously nestle it back into its shrine in my pajama drawer.) It’s the one with the tiny writing decoration: Read a book. In your favorite place. By a window. Under a tree…ad infinitum in line after line of script. Script I can recite as if it were an incantation to bring you back to me.

It can’t. It won’t. It doesn’t. I still won’t wear it. It has your name hand written on the inside of the neck hem. I wrote it there before brining it to the rehab with your other clothes and toiletries. You looked so young, so childlike on the big bed in that old rehab. Giggling because you had the room to yourself. The first time in 50-odd years of oppressive marriage that you slept in a room alone. A little girl, playing house.

My heart hurts, but I have that image of you, right now, to comfort me. My eyes are heavy; I will lie down, curling my body around this memory…

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