Mother of Pearls

*early draft… much more to do one this one…*

Her body is weary before it ever gets old. Bones stronger than granite, tissue soft skin.

Eyes so blue the horizon gets lost in them

Her daughters fill her world like start dust fills the sky; she’s the moon and they wait every night for her to shine.

Mornings are too chaotic for any poetic reflection; it’s in between the clamoring of dishes going from sink to dishwasher and protests of brushing teeth that she notices the time. Notices the quiet of the phone not ringing tonight. This silence does little to soften the weight on her shoulders.

If she could take all the pain, all the sadness and dark bitter edges that come with the pain, and weigh her body down even more she would. She would bury herself in the pain, give in to this quicksand life that she is fighting so hard to stay above. But she knows she cannot. There’s just some things a mother’s love cannot quite fix, cannot quite protect against, and the imprint of him, his lack of love and curiosity, his lack of interest in their birthdays or holidays or report cards, his bomb-dropping phone calls shattering their childhood time and again – she can do little to protect her sweet girls from him.

She tries so hard to absorb all the shock waves threatening her beautiful home. Her home, a beautiful old Victorian with cracked wood floors and gardens to get lost in. Clapboard walls hidden beneath sharp aluminum siding that rattles like thunder.

She sneaks in the good memories where she can – crushed between cars breaking down and child support not coming and work. She works and works and works. Works to feed her daughters, works to be free from him, works for her independence and sanity and because she doesn’t know how else to keep their beautiful home safe and protected and theirs.

At night she layers extra kisses on each girl’s sweet forehead. The pattering is quiet, old wood floors creaking is silenced. She sits with weary granite bones resting on furniture she bought, in the home she created. She keeps on collecting good memories. She lets the sound of her daughters’ laughter etch into her eardrums so when she whispers so softly to herself can I do this? how can I keep doing this? she finds the strength she needs to lift the concrete in her bones onto the cold wood floors every morning.

But sometimes bombs landed on her beautiful home, shaking the house down to its clapboard walls. Inside, the cacophony of crying reverberates endlessly. She goes from room to room, trying to sooth and contain and reassure. Her sky blue eyes electric with a ferocious, protective anger. She yearns for a bomb shelter instead of the home on Laurel Ave; she yearns for the ability to bring life back to his stone cold heart, to save her precious little girls from the pain they experience every single morning and every single night.

© 2017 erin hoffman – all rights reserved



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