To Return No More

                   
    As I sat and watched a face like mine - a mirror image, tears coursed down my face - a face that was filled with life.  I imagined seeing a tear running down her face too, but her face was cold and lifeless.  My birth mother had passed away.  She was also a poet.  Her last poem, Birth of Little Virginia, was given to me by my aunt)
    As my children, fiance' and I attended the funeral services, we all cried for what wasn't and what could have been.  We cried for times we had been left out of and times we had missed.  The tears flowed like water from a fountain and still nothing could be reversed.  Time could not be turned back.
    As I sat and continued to watch my mother's face, I was transported away from the church where she lay.  I floated back forty some years.  Here I was a forty-seven year old woman with three children of my own and I find myself reverting back to my childhood.  A childhood where I am abandoned by my mother.  I did not let myself think about this until this very moment.  I was falling apart.  My soul seemed to be ripped apart from the seams, from the hinges and piece by little piece; adulthood was no longer within my being.  The strength I thought that I had possessed no longer existed.  I became that little child reaching for her mother.  I wanted to be picked up, comforted, kissed and patted on the head.  As I looked around, I did not see her.  I searched for that bond that should have been there.  A bond that would have connected us.  One that consisted of love and compassion.  I screamed out, "Mommy, mommy, I want you, I need you now."  "Mommy, where have you gone?"  I couldn't hear the words that someone was saying.  I was lost someplace else.  I was away from the church and the minister and family.  A new family to me.  Ones that I did not know whether I wanted to get to know or not.  I was so removed; lost within my emotions.  Emotions that I had kept bottled up inside of me for forty-seven years.  Tears that should have been spilled were locked away deep within me.  I yelled again, I cried, "Mommy where are you when I need you so?"  The hot tears scalded my face and my soul as they streamed down my face.  Through all of my tears and my screams, there was no response.  My mother was walking away from me.  I ran as fast as my little short legs could carry me.  Tears continued to flow.  My lips trembled; I was out of breath and had a horrible pain in my chest.  I felt defeated, weakened and lost, but I still ran on.  I ran through the terrible storms, the thick fog and smoke.  I fell down in the mud.  I was covered with dirt and grime but still I ran on trying to catch up with my mother.  I never needed her so much as I needed her now. 
    I wiped the tears from my eyes and could clearly see her.  She was within arms reach.  I leapt forward in order to quickly grab her hand.  She looked at me and quickly backed away.  My mother wouldn't let me reach her, wouldn't allow me to touch her hand.  She wouldn't speak one word to me or at me.  I tried my hardest to
grab her as she then began to run away from me.  If I could have gotten close enough to have only smelled her cologne or to see the color of her eyes, that would have been satisfaction to me.  I quickened my pace and again my tiny legs gave way on me.  I fell.  Panting and sweating, I got up and continued this race after my mother.  I couldn't stand for long.  I continued falling and shrieking, "Mommy, Mommy, M-O-M-M-Y."  I felt someone rubbing my back and my shoulders.  I thought she had changed her mind and come back to me.  She wants me and loves me, I thought to myself.  I needed this comfort and love from her badly.  As I opened my eyes, I did not see Mommy but saw my fiancÚ trying to console and quiet my voice.  My mother was there but only in death.  I had to face reality, she was gone.  Her body was here, but her soul had long descended to the clouds.  There was no longer a time when I could fantasize about seeing her or experiencing how we looked so much alike.  The time was gone where I could think to myself, we still have time to meet and get to know each other.  This fantasy was over and done with.
    As reality struck, I realized that I could never tell my mother face to face that I loved her.  She could never tell me that she loved me too.  We wouldn't be able to have those mother/daughter talks that I longed for.   We would never share our life's experiences of heartaches and happiness.  My mother would not see and hug her grandchildren (my children).  They were denied the pleasure of getting to know her and lovingly give her hugs and kisses.
    At the cemetery, the pain in my chest had subsided and so had my tears.  I viewed the closed coffin and said, "Goodbye Mother'" as I placed a rose upon it.  It was a relief to finally be able to call her mother and not Edna as I would do whenever talking about her.
    My mother is gone to return no more.  But whenever I look in the mirror, I see her through my reflection.  We can not hold conversations together, but I converse with her through my poetry and other writings. My legacy left to me from my mother lies within the words, the phrases and sentences I compose.
     That will make our connection last forever.  My writings hold some of her spirit because she did not continue with her writing.  I suppose she is now looking down and seeing herself within me as some of my words reach out and gently touch her. 

By:  Virginia Bryan


           Virginia Bryan email:  bryancras2897@cs.com
            PO Box 635, Neptune, NJ  07753-4660


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