Half The Woman

I don’t remember if I said goodbye to you at all. I was away, so far

and living the dream, a sordid tale, the novella you would abhor. You,

who had the sweetest heart in later years, your thick glasses

blowing up your eyes into enormous moons to witness the travesty.

I did not witness the Mass, I did not go to the grave site, I did not

mourn with my mother. She lost you and I did not mourn. I lost you,

and I did not mourn. Forgive me, please. Born a fool, known a fool, and yet

you loved me, prayed for me in the darkness and the quiet of the faithful night.

Could you ever know how I remember you with such heavy heart and mourn

for you so deeply now? Decades it’s taken me, decades since you’ve been gone.

I won’t forget, I never have.

You taught me to count, to pronounce those words so full of consonants.

There was no molding here, this was life that traversed an ocean, this was

life that knew no borders, this was a wish upon a very distant star.

If I could thank you (did I ever?) now I would. Sweet and strong, you were

my champion, my teacher, my soulful song. I would be a worthy human being

were I half the woman you shared with the world. I fear I am barely half

the woman you were, one quarter the woman that sprang from your loins.

And yet, I strive, full of hope and determination – the legacy

of the pioneering heart.

© Tina Zabielski 2011-2019


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