Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Daydreamers

The Daydreamers

See, you were always a daydreamer
And I followed in your footprints
Dreaming of ways to escape our situation
You taught me to see beyond the slums
Showing me how to soar while grounded in reality
Your gave me access to how the universe works
But within the process of my education, you let me peek
Giving me license to game the system in my favor

See, you were always a daydreamer
But then something happened, and your fantasies dimmed
You had less time to let your mind wander
Burdened by two hungry kids
And the reality of someone else’s “told you so’s”
Still, you carved out time to remind me
of Michigan Avenue
Singing of slavery and blue skies,
of what they think and the angles they can’t see
You were relentlessly gentle and unbowed by cruelty
But I could see your wounds, your weariness
And I was too young, too weak to lighten your burden
Though you’d never allow it, even if I could

See, you were always a daydreamer,
But then something happened, and your heart stopped
Nobody told me until the crisis had long ended
The doctors brought you back from heaven’s garden
Before then, you were deeply at peace with God
But I must’ve been eavesdropping on grown folks talking
Or maybe you told me yourself,
since it was a teachable moment
But I recall you saying that
while lying cold and pulseless on the table
You could perceive time, but nothing else
You said that there was no light at the end of the tunnel
That the absence of sound and color led you to darkness
That you couldn’t hear the sound of your own cries
I asked what brought you back, but you could only shrug
Couldn’t even weave a fairytale on the fly

See, you were always a daydreamer
But then something happened, and your dreams turned dark
The lines between fact and fiction irrevocably blurred
You couldn’t discern my face from that of the devil’s
You implored us to side with you
against the shadows in your head
I grew weary of convincing you that there was no demon
In your mind, this convinced you that I was against you
And indeed, I spoke against all your conspiracies
But I couldn’t reach you anymore
So I ran; I escaped my surroundings
Just like you taught me
back when your dreams were vivid
and full of songs and laughter
You reached for me in rare moments of lucidity
But even upon reaching manhood,
I looked at you through a child’s eyes
I was too weak; too cowardly; too selfish, to save you

See, you were always a daydreamer
But then something happened, and your heart stopped
I thought we had all the time in the world
But you didn’t return from the garden this time
I find myself forgetting the sound of your laugh
As you sang to me and told me jokes
Filling my head with stories of both fact and fantasy
I know nothing of what happens after we die
Even all that you taught me
could never prepare my imagination
But here’s what I do know
If there’s nothing waiting for me but darkness and silence
I will spend our eternity fumbling in the void for your hand.


***

Posted today, 1/20/16, on the seventh anniversary of my mother drawing her last breath and leaving this world for the next. I know I shouldn’t post first drafts, but there’s no chance in hell of me returning to work on this one anymore.

2 comments:

  1. This is so sad.. To get all those gifts, and never have a way of giving back... I can so much understand that you will not go back to work on the poem... Sometimes it's better to leave it raw.

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  2. A very moving write and fitting tribute to your mother ~ May you always be a daydreamer like her ~

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