Been thinking a lot about my mother lately, hard to believe she’s been gone so many years. It seems like yesterday, last week, a month ago at most I midnight called her knowing she would be awake, playing solitaire at the kitchen table we spent so many hours eating, laughing, talking around. Can it really be nineteen years since I last heard her voice, me truly still a child despite having a child of my own, thinking she would be there for me forever- no not forever, but for a very long time and then-
In a split second lives change, people come and go, stand tall and fold, circumstances turn upside down so you can hardly recognize them anymore except maybe with the feeling of a vision almost grasped but not quite, deja vu but really, when you were there the mountains actually reached towards the sky but now you see only their reflection in a clear blue mountain lake.
Even now I reach for the phone to call her, talk about days and dreams and how did you do this help me figure it out so I don’t fall down again? For my mama, I do miss her, mash’Allaah.
She was there when he was born
Hot blood gushing amidst tears and silence
Thankfully not hers.
No platitudes or empty prayers,
Simply support and a hand held tight.
Her life was built on courage
Dreams spilling from hurt and shame
Hers to hold alone…
Strength of spirit and hope
Bound with doubt of self.
I was late life born from late love
Child running through grown up lands
Fire to her cool calm…
Striving, spinning dreams
From photos creased with wear.
“Say, um…mom died…”
Words crackle through stormy night
After first sorrow, I searched
For her in me.
I hear her whisper now as
Memories slip through soft shadows
My dreams and hers…
Braided, woven tight
Hands upon my heart.
Khadijah is still trying to adjust to life in the States after almost ten years in Yemen. She is a writer, translator, teacher, herbalist, fiber artist, and homeschooling mother to her eight children. She blogs at Yemeni Journey and Wide Earth.