On my chest bone lay the daisy. There was something so promising in the dead of winter, laying across my heart, her face lifted and her petals soft. “My daughter” said my mom, “Is no rose.” she looks at me as I begin to react “You, are a daisy.” My mom never told me she loved me, she never held me tenderly, she just called me a few things that stayed with me. “A whore.” was one thing “A daisy.” the other. The longer I live, the more I see my Universe expanding. I can see myself seated in a little white church with a cracked bell, I can see myself flying above the village on wings that sing. I am a mystery of words that hang in the air and turn cartwheels in my mind. I can still see her standing as straight as an arrow, with red nails on long fingers. I can still feel my heart beating in my chest, hoping for her touch.
In the end I bathed her. I felt her fly away with a flock of geese, that February day. I heard my father cry out. “No, oh no!” I wanted to wrap him in a cocoon, shelter him from his fractured soul. I feared he would leave with her. I feared I would be the only one left. I didn’t know what to do, I just watched my band of family gather around him and weep. I stood as I always do, a little to the right of where I should be. I had leaned in and asked her to fly away, right before she did. I said this to her after a lifetime of indifference and raised voices of critical expressions, an occasional head banging on a wall, a slap, a grab and a tight squeeze while being dragged. “If you ever loved me, you will not die on my birthday.” Her gift to me that day, the day before I was born, 59 years later, she flew. The geese came over her hospice bed and she was gone. I felt her leave. I didn’t cry that day…nor for years after, not until today, when the daisy lay on my chest and I heard her say “you are a daisy.” I will take that to mean I loved you. In the language of flowers I loved you. In the creation of designer dresses and a touch to your eyebrow, I loved you. In the way of a sack lunch, or a freshly ironed shirt, I loved you.
Maybe I was wrong. Maybe all these years of never thinking she loved me at all, she did and now it’s too late. I am breathing deeply, pushing back the pain. My lungs are breathing in disappointment. I am not supposed to dwell on the negative. I am not supposed to entertain thoughts of pain. Not any more. It needs to be the language of colors and flowers and balloons that float on wicker seats in the forest. Anything but the pain. Don’t stroke the well-worn path of loss. Remember this new day dawning is a gift. Ignore the pain in muscles and in marrow and in memory. Turn your eyes upward and take a breath and breathe in goodness and breathe out the darkness of history. Blood and skin and bone history. “Nothing to see here folks!” moving on.
I awaken in the dawn, sweating and throwing off blankets. My dreams were about a man I know in spirit, but have never met in flesh. He writes, I write. We stand in solidarity against something unspeakable coming. We fight with words. He actually speaks volumes by saying very little. I have read enough about him to sense a kindred. We are serendipitous. I kiss my husband good morning and wonder why the dreams are about someone far, far away. I wonder what that might mean. I roll over and see the daisy’s my sister gave me for no particular reason. I pluck one out and lay it across my heart. The scent is summer and the memory takes me down the rabbit hole and back up. Use the neuro training you are learning to stop the falling. Take back the ground and smell the daisy’s . Focus right here, right now on your flesh and blood husband who smells like salt and can make me laugh. Focus right here, right now on the new day. Count the blessings. Electricity on the wires above.
Let it be.