While You Were Away…

Posted: April 24, 2011 in Off the cuff

While you were away…

I turned 1…mother kept photos…chubby little angel with the sunken eyes…

She sat peacefully staring into blank space, while I babbled and played with her blouse.

While you were away…

I turned 11…mother kept photos…shy lanky girl with the spaced-out teeth…

She combed my hair backwards…ironed the dress with the little bow and sat me on the couch. Lessons in being a lady…head up straight…swallow all the pain and smile.

While you were away…

I turned 16…got kicked out of high school for acting out…

Mother kept photos…self-conscious young woman with an attitude, a passion for written word, a dream bigger than herself, and an anger that bubbled silently under.

While you were away…

I turned 18…liked the boy with the nervous smile, the sweaty palms, the best Math student at his school.

Mother kept photos…slim, tall woman with the permanent ponytail, and sweaters in all colors.

While you were away…

I turned 21…fell in like with an older man…a social rebel, he loved me and then he didn’t. I fed off his sense of rebellion, his defiance of everything proper, his ragged nature…

Mother kept photos…an elegant, well poised woman, with glossed lips, processed hair and low-cut blouse.

While you were away…

I turned 24…struggled to relate to men, I saw you in them…at least I imagined you in them.

Mother kept photos…a grown-up woman, well-educated woman, a flirt but deep within lived in fear and longing…of something beautiful, something stable…

While you were away…

I turned 26…and wrote a letter…a passionate appeal to God, to keep you safe…to lead me to you…

If only just so I can hand you this letter…this attempt to understand your journey, to reconcile with the ghosts from past days…to see who mother says I take after, who’s blood flows in my veins…who’s occupied my thoughts for 26 years…the last chapter in this book I struggle to complete.

While you were away…I called no other, Daddy.

  1. Ras Mengesha says:

    wow! this is an amazing piece…couldn’t stop reading…wish you were older…i mean…wish it was longer. Great stuff from a clearly great writer!

  2. Minah says:

    This is a soulful piece, i loved every line, the clarity of thought is amazing. we need more meaningful writers like you.

  3. kenyansista says:

    I’m reading this for the 3rd time 🙂

  4. gphilly says:

    Ras_thanks:-) hahaha I AM older! Your work is awesome too, keep on!

    Minah_ thank you. I am humbled that you found it deep:-)

    Kenyansista_interesting! I suggest you print it out and pin it on your wall…wll, maybe not:-) Thanks for the love gal!

    Naftali_sometimes words are just not enough to describe a moment:-) I completely get it, thanks man! Appreciated.

  5. Stella says:

    Loving this Georgia,it’s so sad. I have actually pictured those photos in my head.

  6. Ed says:

    This is amazing!! Can’t believe I didn’t see it when you posted it. Catching up on all I’ve missed out on this lovely blog of yours SB :). Now, to share this. Again, I love eet!! 🙂

  7. Ed says:

    It’s rather sad though… 😦 but very beautiful

  8. Wow Georgia. Amazing. Don’t forget, While he was away- you turned out great!

  9. Wangeshe says:

    Endless sighs. beautiful piece girl

  10. Jilani says:

    Amazing piece Georgia. Really! This is an amazing peace!! Loving every bit of it.

  11. Debra says:

    Amazing wirting, simple – sounds like a breakthrough! Touching.

  12. carol says:

    wow!beautiful,i so love this piece

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