My Mama Moved Among the Days
My Mama moved among the days
like a dreamwalker in a field;
seemed like what she touched was here
seemed like what touched her couldn’t hold,
she got us almost through the high grass
then seemed like she turned around and ran
right back in
right back on in
— Lucille Clifton
All the house cleaning and rearranging I did yesterday made me feel marvelously productive … but also a little sad. Going through so much of my stuff, I kept finding things that reminded me of people with whom I used to be friends but who are no longer my friends — a book one gave me, a photograph of another …
I don’t like losing friends. Ok, who does? I know, but it needs saying. The two women who were brought back to my mind again and again yesterday are women I thought would be in my life for the rest of my life. They shared so much of who I was and who I’ve become. It’s still hard for me to believe they aren’t in my life now.
Harder still is knowing that the thing that broke us up was my attempt to get pregnant. If there were two people who I’d have thought would have understood the stress and disorientation and pain of that experience, it would have been those two friends, both of whom struggled with their own fertility, one that had gone through even more fertility treatments than I had before conceiving her first daughter, and then several more rounds before conceiving her second.
I’m not saying I don’t own any of the responsibility for the dissolution of our relationships. What I am saying is that I would have thought either of them would have fought harder for our friendships, that neither would have been so quick to write me off when I was at my absolute lowest, that the ugly drama of my life at that time would have had some meaning and reality for them and wouldn’t have been something I would have been expected to downplay or set aside.
And here I am, years after the fact, sorting through my belongings, dredging up that years’-old hurt, unable to downplay or set aside either of them.
hover in my memory, hold space
in my thoughts, their lives embossed
on my heart. Each face
another story, each a moment of grace
I took so long to know
each one, so long now to let them go.