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For My Mother

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Below is the poem entitled For My Mother which was written by poet Brady Perkins. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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For My Mother

A few months ago I went by the 
cemetery where you lay
I have been meaning to stop in 
but you know how life gets.

It was late September
chilly and overcast
the clouds were thick and
hung heavy above the sad oaks
like a gray sagging sheet.

The grounds were unkept
brown oak leaves collected
at the base of the headstones
that had caught them as they 
flew restless on the breeze.

I parked my car and walked
up and down the silent rows
headed toward yours
and allowed memories of you
to come into the focus of my minds eye

I remember waking up one morn long ago
and my eyes wouldn't open
So I screamed and cried
I felt the tears on my checks and still my 
eye would not open
then I heard your voice
then I felt you take me in your arms
then there was the warmth of your hands 
as they wiped the gunk
that had collected on them
from pink eye
in the night

I tired to imagine your smile
when my eyes did open
but the only thing I could see
in my minds eye was a featureless face

Addiction only takes 
leaving nothing at all

A breeze come over the cemetery then
bringing with it a chill
and I tried again to picture
you and your smile
along with it's warmth
and assurance of unending love
but I couldn't it was instead replaced
with the feeling of anger in your voice
when you called to ask me for money
one Christmas Eve a lifetime ago
I told you I didn't couldn't do it
that I didn't have it
but really I didn't believe your story 
and knew what the money was for

Addiction only takes
leaving nothing at all

I was coming up to your grave
then and I thought about how you use to
make me and my friends snacks
and brought them into my room while
we played video games
So I imagined you with a small platter of odds and ends
but in my minds eye
I saw only a manikin
wearing your clothes
holding a platter
with a sad smile
on it's plastic face

Addiction only takes
leaving nothing at all

A few steps from your stone
I thought about the call
when I learned that your liver
had finally failed
not long after I got home
to find someone that looked like 
yet nothing like
the woman I had known
your body failed with it.

I could clearly recall your 
but when I rounded the stone
and stood in front of your plot
I was surprised by what I saw

Not long after 
the day we laid you down 
your stone was placed
it had read:
Debra Lynn Krage
Loving mother, Daughter, Sister. Wonderful Wife
Who will be forever missed in this life.

But that day
as I stood there
beneath that over cast sky
the words were indistinguishable
from the stone
like tears shed in rain
the last vestiges

I don't know why this surprised me
in hindsight I know well enough
after all
that Addiction only takes
and takes
and takes
leaving in it's wake nothing
nothing at all.

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  1. Date: 9/11/2013 11:16:00 AM
    Thanks guys for the sentiments shared. Perhaps I should have noted in the title that my mother is still living. The poem was written for her intervention. I read it to her when it was clear she was getting ready to walk out on us and not go to rehab. After reading she agreed to go to rehab and has been there for two and a half weeks. I am glad it touched you all and again thanks.

  1. Date: 9/11/2013 3:47:00 AM
    - A poem that felt far into my heart! - Beautiful and very much emotion,Brady !! - oxox // Anne-Lise :)

  1. Date: 9/10/2013 5:21:00 PM
    Brady; This is an awesome poem. It is also very sad. It is very hard to have to go through something like this. But a Mother will always be a mother - no matter what. You survived all this and it made you a stronger and better person. Now you just have to forgive. Thanks for sharing..... Lucilla