I Told You God, Take Me


Left alone on Mama’s bed, in Mama’s room –

while I heard Grandmother’s feet – black tied shoes
prance above my head –

behind the old wooden door – I thought a bear was standing there
it was a fur coat hanging from a metal hook.

I talked to God – a child alone, afraid of the dark
as tears moistened clean white sheets – I pushed a feather
pillow far from me – it was God I needed –

“God,” I screamed in silence, from the inside out –
“Please God, take me first, I can leave,  don’t take those
who love me, please.”

Five, and I thought I knew enough – I could not be alone – as I stretched
my arms grabbing at the pillow I pushed away, sobbing on feathers – no one heard.

I pictured my Mother’s red velvet couch, old – worn – in her hands old
knitting needles – heard them clang – as her glasses fell from her Irish face.

Today I am a Mother too – and I watched as my Mother died – one month, every inch
of her seemed to crumble into pieces.

She fought for thirty days – it was that Irish will that kept her alive.
I thought about when I was five, talking to you, God – you never listened when
I told you – as a child, please take me first. You knew the love I had left to share.

1 Comment
  1. Avatar of Branka Cubrilo
    Branka Cubrilo says

    Nancy, it is such a touching poem. It reminds me of something, please, have a look at this citation:

    “So finally I understood the hidden meaning in her present, her Swarovski
    crystal bracelet was shining out the pure, crystal clear love my Mother
    harboured in her heart. Each little rounded ball, perfectly cut and polished,
    was almost transparent in its purity, as if they were a sum of all the crystal
    clear tears she ever wept for me; ever kept away from me. For the first time
    in my life, I saw not only courage but fear, for the first time in my life, I
    understood that she, too, had a little frightened child within her while she
    was holding my hand with a needle in it, moving her lips as she had sum-
    moned all the saints she had ever heard of to pray for our souls.”

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