She was the most amazing woman I knew.

I’d heard mere whispers of her past, curious

I was to know more of what happened during

those seventy years before me.

Instilling Roman-Catholic values in all.

Naive, I didn’t realize how she acquired them.

You couldn’t see the pain behind her opaque eyes

at first glance. Sometimes she’d let a detail slip.

I tried to comprehend the reason why.

“To protect you, my girl” she’d reply.

Bore fifteen children, of which eight girls survived.

And now I know why she favoured the boys.

The more I matured the more I learned of her.

She had a sister, the school named her death an accident.

It was no accident, they told me.

How one woman could endure all this,

Yet remain so kind, giving, and bright.

She was the string that connected us together.


Years passed, seasons changed; in turn, people did too.

Grief brings our worst selves to the surface.

We all knew it was coming, so sad to see her decline.

What was once strong was now frail, lying in bed.

Chipped polish and outgrown roots, mouth ajar.

I remember how prideful she used to be, dressed to the nines.

It was time that she’d leave, but we wanted her here.

For our own selfish reasoning clouded what was best.

“Ambee” she heard them say, “eh hah,” she left.

The moment it happened felt like a dream;

The world stopped turning and animals fell silent,

For a great soul was leaving our world.

She took a lot with her, the energy, the spirit.

Her house is a shell of what it was.

And the string that connected us, is now severed.