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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

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