The tiny starfish hands pressed on both my cheeks. Her heart trembling in her sea-washed, sky-gray eyes. Little delicate lips pressed in an adult line of barely-controlled emotion. The *****, dully-shining tear streaks that drew paths through her freckles. Butterfly kisses, I would tease her as I swept her into the salty air.
I have to focus. I steel myself, dragging memories from the back of my clouded mind and setting them before my fogging eyes. I refuse to let them slip away again. I could never live with myself if I did.
I had said something to her. Ignore the fact that I can’t remember what it was. She smiled through the tears, her laugh a reminder that she wasn’t the adult she was trying desperately to be - that I was forcing her to be. I had wrapped her in my arms for the last time, lifted her toddler body easily from the sand. She held onto me tighter than I thought she could - another underestimation, I suppose. My neck started running with her tears. I hummed her song through a choked throat.
“Momma loves you.”
Fairly standard, as far as last words go. But sufficient. I am satisfied. Flashes of that day, the departure, boarding the ship, lacking the strength to watch my daughter fade into nothing behind me, spin past my eyes with increasing speed. Funny, everything else has slowed. The water makes my limbs sluggish, the ropes twining like lazy snakes around them. The footsteps of my heartbeat have slowed their pace, leaving longer and longer pauses of silence in their wake. Even the glittering light, what there is of it, is lethargic in its reaches to my nearly-blind eyes.
With all the salt-water clouding my vision, dimming my memories, I could swear the sea knows of my loss. It must: it is weeping with me.
It's not a poem, I know, I know. But a brief review/critique of my brief story is more than welcome. Please and thank you.