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Kelly Landis Feb 8
Brain.
Cancer.
No... You sat on the stairs
And told me. So matter of fact:
It has come back, I'm sorry.
No... I'm sorry.
I was moving out, you were with-
Out me for months. Your only daughter: the glue.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

The stark white hospitals walls
And scratchy sheets,
Sterile smell mixed with ****,
Pureed food on the beige tray.
Nurses who forgot to feed you.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

You still smiled up until
That final week. Somehow.
I know you were so strong but
The tumor weaved and molded
Itself, made a home in your brain.
You were my mother,
But you were no where to be found...
You had left your body long before.

Kissed your cold cheek,
Held your burning hands.
Prayed
To
Someone
Promised you it was okay to go.
Screamed silently...
How will we make it without you?
The nights long and treacherous,
My father asleep in the chair beside you.
The oxygen tank whirling,
Morphine under the tongue,
Listen to your breathing.
The pattern
The changes

Until.
There was
None.
Kelly Landis Jan 30
Losing my mom before my 30's taught me a lot about life. It's short. Short in the "she was in remission for eight years, there's no way it could come back" short. Because it did. Come back.

It showed me what it feels like when the air is physically ****** out of the room - the feeling of a soul leaving the body. And that even the most private of people may still want their family surrounding them during their last breaths. It taught me how to administer the correct amount of morphine, consol a father who is inconsolable and pick the "perfect" urn. I learned there is a part of myself I will never get back because I was a part of her and she a part of me.

I will never just 'get over this.'
Somedays I feel like no one remembers or cares and for that Mom, I am sorry.
I know you're never coming back but I still somehow hold onto a small sliver of hope that you will.
And when I realize you're not,
The wave hits me again.
And again
Onto my *** and each time
It becomes harder and harder to stand back up.
Because... this needed to be said.
Kelly Landis Jun 2018
Your hand in mine
Looked so small,
Fragile
Like your body on the borrowed bed
In our living room
The oxygen tank became the white noise
As my brother and I shared shifts
Of intently watching your chest rise and fall
(Or
Not.)
I'll never be able to shake
The final image in my mind
Watching you slip away
And the final goodbye
Was so quiet
I almost stopped breathing with you.
Kelly Landis Apr 2018
I'm sorry,
When the silence was too loud
Was it my fault
When the phone would ring
I wouldn't answer,
It would ring
And ring
Mom
I'm sorry,
When the decisions weren't made
Fast enough
The pause was all
There was
And we waited too long
While you laid up in the hospital bed
It was all I could do
To rest my own head at night
Knowing
Mom
I'm sorry,
The I love you's stuck in my throat
The days I wasted, the nights I
Drank
The cheap dreams I chased
While you watched and complained
I'm sorry,
It all came back around
Time was nowhere to be found
The cancer a sick disease but you,
You found your release
I'm sorry,
Mom
Call your Mom. Tell her you love her.
Kelly Landis Apr 2017
I dream of her.
I shouldn't.

but my subconscious has this thing -
it doesn't listen to me.
her hips pop up under closed eyelids
I wake remembering only the feel of her skin.
Kelly Landis Jun 2015
Stop time.

I would pick the exact time you decided to stay.
And then, we would be able to stay just like that
Forever.
Kelly Landis Jun 2015
x
You were never good at cleaning up my messes.
You would throw punches, and talk trash
Destroy whatever came into your line of sight,
and then some

You asked me why I came back
I still ask myself this question, numerous time
In numerous different places, phases of my life
I still don't have a solid answer,
But you still wait

And wait for me to say those words,
Return the favor of the hurt
Making messes
No one will ever clean up
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