This beautiful, totally unedited fresh writing came from a student this week, Priscilla Matthews, in response to a prompt where they selected a single line of poetry from various poems by Naomi Shihab Nye. Priscilla had no idea this was what she was going to write - as is true to the practice, she simply put pen to paper, and this homage emerged.
There's not much I want to say about it, except to point out the incredible ordinary-ness of it: clothing, stains, children, laundry. And so powerful - all the details, and the way she connects it back to her mother and herself. Direct. Clear. Universal. Specific.
I will also point out that Priscilla stated some things I can relate to, having also lost my parents when I was young. I relate in particular to these lines: "If she had lived, she may have died by now," and, "Does this mean I'm finally in sync with my peers?"
Please enjoy this poignant grief and pleasure mixture.
forgetting how easily children soil clothesI just remembered that today would have been my Mom’s birthday. She would have been 87 years old. If she had lived, she may have died by now. Having a parent pass at my age now is “normal.” It’s part of the process many people my age are going through. Does this mean I’m finally in sync with my peers? No. I don’t understand their expressions of grief. But I am more compassionate and patient with them than I was with myself.“forgetting how easily children soil clothes”My mom had 8 children . The other day I imagined how joyful it must have been for her with one child…the time she had to dress her, play in the grass, share her growth with my Dad. And then my brother was born, and the work grew, the balancing act. And then another, and another, and another, and another, and another, and another.