The Mourning of Us

portrait-4130603_1920

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

The Mourning of Us

How I wish I had known you
before the coma came
and then the awakening —
they all said you were a happy child
full of laughter and joy
but I’ve only known the sad
melancholy child — eyes cast downward
a permanent frown creased upon her face

If only your memory hadn’t been erased
perhaps I would recognize you
and you, me —
I’ve never known the person
who stares at me in the mirror
all these long and lonely decades
just as I didn’t recognize
mother, father or sister back then

Mother said it was nonsense
that I couldn’t remember
and I believed, I believed her
wanting desperately to fit in
but I never did —
I had no refuge from my plight
no one to hold me and tell me
everything will be alright

I carved my own path through life
a windy, twisted road of darkened forests
seeking shelter in caves so deep and dank
and although I longed for the light
I found no solace there —
I hid from the sun, from laughter
and the people I should have embraced
but trust was an enemy; doubt, my friend

Even now I want to enfold you in my arms
heal you and heal me too —
I’d give up lifetimes to erase
what that illness stole from us
to know love and laughter
and the peace that comes with wholeness —
How long should I mourn for you, for me
and the life we should have lived?

©2020 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.