Little Thoughts: To My Mother

In the middle of the darkness, I ran to you

fearing a burglar or someone coming to harm me

in the middle of the night in a large house in the suburbs

of Massachusetts. A place with no violence.

You would respond by lying on the carpeted floor of my

bedroom, holding my hand, reminding me that you were there

for comfort and to protect me until I drifted far off into a place

of peace and calm.

 

Screaming and growling, you would charge after me

in the house, running to catch me while I yelled out in

joy and terror. Fearing you but always loving you. While I ran, I

always knew you’d catch me and I loved that. You grabbing me,

placing your arms around me, feeling comfort once again

 

As the days became shorter and we stopped running around

the neighborhood, you would turn the tv on, pop a cassette in

and watch these people move across the screen in time with the

music. I would sit on your lap until my body couldn’t resist

anymore and I would jump up and join in. As if in

a hypnotized trance, I would move with the beat. Falling in love

with the people on the screen. You would try, in frustration,

to explain to me the reasoning behind their movements, and

I could never follow. It was if they were speaking a weird language

that you understood and I didn’t.

 

As I grew, you started speaking this weird language too.

Two bodies who used to share comfort

turned to fighting and screaming. Anger and frustration took

over love and happiness. Communication broke down. No understanding,

a battle where both sides thought they were right.

 

And then, one day, I started to speak this weird language. Understanding

what the dancers were trying to say and feeling a connection to the

narrative.

 

And I realized you were right all along.

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