Without you

Mama
I missed you today
not an unnatural emotion
but unnatural for me
in the midst of a song
that’s not about you
contemplating my lover’s familia
there you were

smiling.

In 43 years I don’t remember ever
feeling this way
not even
in the 13 since you disappeared
I still recall
that 2 a.m. phone call
from 1500 miles away
the hardest phone call
my father ever made
his voice saying
“sweetie, she died”
and my roommate
who understood no English
lurching downstairs crying
because of whatever
was coming out of me
after that.

I stood in line at the airport
in my black coat
and by the time we got
to the tarmac at LAX
to sit and wait
for a gate
while they harvested your organs
in my absence
I’d had all my feelings.
Impossible to explain
what it’s like
to lose your mother
the one person you know nothing without
whose womb was ground zero
for your very existence
dawning.
Even though I sometimes hated her
often pitied
usually feared
and always mistrusted
I now miss the best she did
and the things she never gave
not because she didn’t want to
but because she was unable.

I wonder now if she didn’t love me
because I didn’t love her.
I’m sorry mama
I so wanted you to see me
my simmering rage
and oldest daughter’s pain
kept me from seeing you
seeing true
and now at 13 years of distance
and safety
I can finally admit
the garden of my life
is more thirsty, faded
and barren
without you.

© S. Rinderle, 2013