to a grandmother, from her grandchild

Yet, I thought we would have more time. I did not think of you often, and when I did I was shamed. I should have forgotten you, as you had forgotten me. I pick up the phone, but there is no number for me to dial. Your voice is foreign to me, and were I to hear yours, I would not know it. I am left, now, with the picture of you in my memory, sickly sweet and contemptuous. Even across the expanse of time I feel it, your discontent.
I consider you for much longer than I should.
I do not wish to send lilacs, to place them on the softness of your grave.
I do not want to clutch your hand as you draw your last breath, to lend you warmth as you still, unseeing.
I do not wish to weaken your cries of mourning, to still them with beatitudes and forgiving.
I do not wish to let you go unknowing, the words I carried for you lost to your grave.
I wish for you to awaken so that I might deliver the words to you, parsed from the wreckage of the things I thought I’d forgotten.
“You were loved
But not by me
You were kind
But not to me
You were loving
You did not love me”
They don’t capture what I want you to leave with. The dryness of my eyes and the bitterness of my heart, the anger for you, and for death. Leave her, I want to command him. I have more to say.
I wish to send you away with the memory of me and could I, I would give you peace. I wish for you whole again and in sound mind. I wish for you to consider, as you pass through the veil, the words that did not pass your lips. I wish for my name to cross your mind and for a moment, I wish for you to feel human and longing. I wish there were a way to draw you back again, to see your eyes knowing, and know that you will miss me, to see the words that you never said, the ones that, with your eternal absence, I am not allowed to say. There are no ears left to hear them and you were always deaf to me. Were you to hear my voice you would not know it.

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