Doris Marie Lawson Schwaner, 7/3/1939 – 11/8/2017
I wrote this for my mother a little over six years ago. She’d been battling Alzheimer’s disease for several years. I heard her voice yesterday afternoon and she heard mine, thanks to my sister.
Vanishing Tracks (II)
What is resilient in us is resistant to memory
When the memory goes she will be some other self
Still resilient to the sailing light and shadow
And hungers and exhaustions of love
Made maybe even more immediate
When the resilience goes what is that then
When the resistance goes what is that
Just outside her heart she hears a sound in the night
I am out there knocking on the dusty porch
I have brought a friend with me
When she opens the door will she see herself
Holding my hand?
Do you remember when the car door opened up
As you drove and I hung out there clinging to it
Legs dangling hollering your name?
Do you remember hollering my name
As you sat in the bleachers to watch
the smallest second baseman ever?
Do you remember the rides on rainy days to school
In the golden Rambler you called Goldilocks
Your children and their friends sitting forward
And backward like sardines to fit more of us into the back seat?
You spent so much time doing these things you have the right
Not to remember
Nothing can change what you have done
What is has made in me
I will remember these things
For you and when I can no longer remember
Nothing can change what you have done
Everything I can remember makes up only a small part of your life
The rest of it now becomes more you to me I see that now
You become your childhood your mother in that picture
Is you now as you look at it which is not
A bad thing as you tell me laughing
Your nephew becomes your father in that picture
Standing beside you younger than you somehow
It doesn’t matter
He has always stood beside you
From the moment he died when you were thirteen he was there
And you grew older as he remained a young father
I only understand now
how you see that picture
The mind’s tide’s becalmed
The beach endless
These memories now rise
With little difference in depth
To the step of the moment that splashes
Beautiful. Heart & hugs to you, Poet.
Love shows in every line here. This can be one of the hardest losses to bear.
Heartbreakingly beautiful. I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending love and light to you and your family.
So sorry for your loss, Jeff. A difficult transition.
Yeah. But I read a poem of yours just this morning that helped mark the path a bit. When is that book of yours hitting my doorstep?
That’s the greatest compliment you could give me, Jeff. Thank you. The book has been delayed – it should be released any time now. I hope by the end of next week.
Blessings on you and your family. Very very difficult to lose a mother….no matter if she was “lost” before – under any circumstances the loss is deep.
Right. I’ve been saying goodbye to my mom for years now, and the immediate loss is still felt like a kind of falling.
A beautiful poem, filled with love and so much life. Best wishes to you, Jeff, not an easy time.
Thank you for being here.
Reblogged this on O at the Edges and commented:
Jeff Schwaner writes about a long goodbye. My heart goes out to you, J.
JS, I’ve been thinking about you ever since Tuesday, imagining the buoying effects of Election Day. Now with your heart so heavy, I’m thinking about you even more.
Thank you, SJ. Yes, election night was a nice change from last year. Thanks for your thoughts.
Yes. I find myself wondering what we mean when we talk about the self, given how it changes.
“Nothing can change what you have done…” hugs to you,Jeff.
Reblogged this on Walttriznastories's Blog and commented:
This poem may respond to many people. Thanks for your strength for your loved ones, gone but still here to love.
One of the most wonderful remembrance poems I have read in years…the heartfelt emotions brought tears to my eyes…peace be with you.
Jeff, I’m sad to hear your mother is gone, and I know what a wrench that is. I remember her laugh and the letters she wrote to Captain Kidd Monthly in the persona of “D Seagull,” and I know you get much of your sense of humor from her. My heart goes out to you.
Thanks, Chris. Yes, “D Seagull” was hilarious. So typical of her. She was a pretty awesome woman.
This is beautiful, Jeff. Love and peace to you and your family.
Thank you, C.