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When Mama Closed Her Eyes


Poetry is one of Lori's favorite ways to share memories, to express feelings, and share what inspires her, so others might be inspired.

Childhood fear

During my childhood I used to feel afraid when my mom would sleep. I am not sure why, but my little girl mind feared that because she was not mentally present I was alone in the world without her. Of course I overcame such a childish notion. I think there is probably a deeper reason I felt this way. I suffered trauma at age four. I always was a fearful child since that time. Regardless of the reason, I felt like writing about it a few months ago. Can any of you relate?

When Mama Closed Her Eyes

When Mama closed her eyes
merely to rest on a quiet afternoon,
I always felt afraid that she’d gone away forever
leaving me alone in the world,
a world I could not weather without her.
I’d wonder where she’d gone
under her silky lids
adorned with mascara and color.
What world was she in that was better
than the one we walked together?
I stood over her waiting for her to return.
Mama, don’t leave me too long
because I can’t bear life alone.
As I watched her, panic rose
and I would shake her shoulder
until she reappeared.
Her open, sleepy eyes asked, “What?”
I’d tell her I was afraid
when she closed her eyes.
Sometimes she held my hand
and drifted back off to sleep,
and her warm touch made me feel safer than before.
Sometimes Mama scolded me
and told me to leave her alone.
Her lids would fall again,
but it was she who was leaving me,
not me leaving her.
I never understood why Mama
closed her eyes and left me
shaking with fear all alone.

© 2017 Lori Colbo


Lori Colbo (author) from United States on June 29, 2017:

Did not know that Finn. I find the greeks fascinatiing.

Fin from Barstow on June 29, 2017:

yes definitely an acute observation....just out of curiosity were you aware that the Greeks believed that Sleep and Death were spirits that took you to Hades and that Sleep would let go....

interesting tense in your writing.

Lori Colbo (author) from United States on March 27, 2017:

Eric, you are a hoot as always.

Lori Colbo (author) from United States on March 27, 2017:

Robert, you are so right, life is indeed fragile. Being grateful for your sufferings shows you've overcome a lot and have grown as a human being. God bless you.

Lori Colbo (author) from United States on March 27, 2017:

Ralph, thanks for stopping by with your affirming comments. I didn't think of this as powerful but it will be, as all our writings are, felt and perceived differently than others.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on March 27, 2017:

This is great. You just got the tenderness down really well. The stages of naps with kids is just great. My son has now graduated to liking my naps so he play videos which are quite limited.

Robert E Smith from Rochester, New York on March 27, 2017:

I can see you as a girl wondering simple but big thoughts. Life is such a fragile thing. You must've been very young. Memories are far and few from that young an age. When I was young, I always felt alone. Of course, I wasn't alone when I was that young but as the years passed, I was. It is amazing to me what makes us adults with adult personalities. So many hurts, pains, and memories that are charged with all kinds of lessons. I am grateful now for all the pain I have endured. Loved the poem. Thank you, Bob.

Lori Colbo (author) from United States on March 27, 2017:

Ruby, I agree and I have written a lot about it through petty.

Ralph Schwartz from Idaho Falls, Idaho on March 27, 2017:

This is such a powerful piece of writing - you've brought to life (very eloquently by the way) something most adults rarely get to see; the perception of a child....

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on March 27, 2017:

The trauma in your little girl psyche stayed with you even though your mother was there resting. I was told by a good writer friend to write about the hurts/ trauma in your childhood. It is a type of therapy that helps to relieve the stress.

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