momma’s stitches

Years ago,
a string of me got caught
on my mother’s death bed
and I’ve been unraveling ever since.
I guess she couldn’t teach me
how to sew myself back up-
not in any lasting manner-
and so,
because she couldn’t teach me
to pull it together
she taught me instead
to fall apart.
I don’t know what fell apart first-
only that for years it seems
she had been stuffing it all back in
and hastily closing the wounds,
re attaching limbs,
repairing tears in the heart,
and stitching secrets for as long as…
as long as she had known-
and lessons like these,
oh, they are very old.
I begged her not to go-
to just stitch us up one more time.
To stitch us back together
and this time-
this time,
we would not fall apart…
but she knew
that I was already in pieces
and that she had taught me well-
too well,
how to make the outside of anything
conceal flawlessly
the inside of everything.
And she did not want to go.
oh momma, I know…
and so she opened me up
one final time,
and hid her needle and thread
deep in my heart
until I was ready to know
that all love needs
is to be open and exposed-


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