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Processing: Journal Collection - Exhibit E

I went to immortalise the woman
with thoughtful words
some she deserved, with heart
cupped in hands behind them    
almost made it before the third line      
where I dived off      
into tedious grievances      
family history  --    

to contrast her character
with his was the goal    
but it just went on      

about my little brother      
my grandfather’s assholery      
my mom as a victim of her upbringing      
in the face
of verbal assault on her young son      
my rage over it all    
how my grandmother      
had stood where I'd wanted to at 16  
and how I was glad the man died first      
before I poisoned his peanut brittle    
    
was nothing of what she deserved      
selfish venting under a smog of grief      
bundling any possible negative experience      
relating to her      
[but not about her]      
into a parcel tied rough shut with the twine      
of my underlying guilt      
for not standing tough enough then      
for not being there now      
she was always the hero      
    
I did manage to transition      
into what we’d had in common      
how I was like her and proud to be      
her love of written word, her grace      
on both sides of winning      
her live-n-let-lives and      
treat-your-neighbours-as-yourselves      
ringing through my grown-up philosophy  
even after dropping then dragging      
my religion along      
like public loo shoe roll      
    
--      
    
I will write her with clarity      
ideally in a tone that grasps      
the force of gentle earth she was      
    
but today      
    
I want to sit quiet in her kitchen      
while she opens the letter I sent last week      
with the opener she keeps      
on the table in a stand      
watch her eyes squint hard, but happy      
going through photos I picked      
of the kids, for her      
I’d stick them up on her weird green fridge      
like she’d ask me to      
and we’d have hot chocolate      
over her 16th lifetime attempt      
to teach me this goddamned game of cards      
    
we would talk about how      
her operation went fine      
I would ask      
what she wants for her birthday soon      
she would tell me      
nothing
Jestalessa
Written by Jestalessa
Published
Author's Note
Originally published 22 Jan 2021/ edited 4 Feb 2021
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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