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The 13th Year

A poem about my late mother

By Brianna RyanPublished 6 months ago 1 min read

I meet the eyes of my reflection

And map the topography of grief

That makes the angles of my face

The valleys that create cheekbones

And the craters that design freckles

A mountain peak that marks

The tip of my nose

It feels for a moment like

I am no longer

As the memory of you wanes

The twine that ties us

As mother and daughter

Frays against the cool edge

Of the day-to-day amnesia

Days and weeks fall into a pile

Of papers on the ground that

Reveal the mark of the thirteenth year

And time doesn’t halt anymore

At the realization that it has

Passed so quickly and there

Is nothing more separating

The day from the solemn night

All that remains of you is a tattered

Bear that falls apart as I hold it close

And I press my face into the fur

It no longer smells of floral musk

But of grime and time lost and

The stark contrast of what future

Was and what it has become

My thoughts drown in the guilt

Of not drifting towards you more

And wondering where souls of

Broken bodies go to when they

Finally give up after the brain’s

Years of self-immolation setting

Your joints in flames

I am no longer myself I lack

The ability to be human anymore

When I forget how you sound

And I lose my smile when

I can’t remember what yours

Looked like because if

You broke your body in two

And mitosis proceeded you

Couldn’t come up with a

More perfect match

You are me as much as

I am you and a piece of

Me is somewhere in the dirt

Ransacked by putrefaction

After twelve years of endless

Love and nourishment and

Yet the mark of the thirteenth year

Brought a lapse of memory

As I press my face into the

Tattered fur I briefly feel a

Warmth against my cheeks

And the rush of blood reaches

My ears and for a moment

I can hear the thudding

Of a heartbeat and all

It makes me think of

Is you.

sad poetry

About the Creator

Brianna Ryan

I read, write, and love to share my opinions. Keep an eye out for articles in the future.

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