I‘ve lost her. I’m losing them all.
It’s there in my mother’s album opposite a recipe for blackberry cake, tiny migraine-letters in black ink, the lines crossed and recrossed as if even the code in which she writes is not enough to hide the fear she hides from us and from herself.
She looked at me today as if I wasn’t there. Wanted so hard to take her in my arms but she’s grown so much and I’m afraid of her eyes. Only R-C keeps a little softness but Fra doesn’t feel like my child any more. My mistake was thinking children were like trees. Prune them back and they’ll grow sweeter. Not true. Not true. When Y. died I made them grow up too fast. Didn’t want them to be children. Now they’re harder than me. Like animals. My fault. I made them that way. Oranges in the house again tonight, but no one smells them but me. My head aches. If only she could put her hand on my forehead. No more pills. The German says he can get some more, but he doesn’t come. Boise. Late home tonight. Like me, divided.
It sounds like gibberish, but her voice in my mind is suddenly very clear. It is sharp and plaintive, the voice of a woman hanging on to her sanity with every bit of her strength.
The German says he can get some more, but he doesn’t come.
Oh, Mother. If only I’d known.