poem: one love

(639 words) 22 Jun 2018

by S.R.A. Markin

my mom battles depression and epilepsy,
comes from poverty and an overcrowded broken home
an abusive father and a faithful mother
seven siblings all in a shack from Nova Scotia.

the doc gave out prescriptions
like expensive narcotic tic-tacs,
seemed like she hardly even had to ask
and she is getting filled up and told to come back.

the Canadian winter nights are hard on us all
and this particular year, my first year in university
i remember her crying, lonely on the phone
i tried to reassure my mom that one day you will
have someone to spend time with, you just have to get through
now, and learn to be okay while being on your own
maybe go outside and get some air
you have three children who would do anything
for you, we are always here
so smile mom if you can,
you are strong and raised us to be stronger.

but eventually the wear must have taken its toll
i can’t say for sure, but it seemed like hell
in her mind
this woman has fought all her life,
and then one night, my heart sank
i called my mom at least 20 times
i tried not to worry all day at work,
but this was unlike her
i knew she hasn’t been feeling well
and i tried to handle it all on my own
after work i went up to the gym
all i thought about was my mom
i left, and called, and called again
i went home and worried and couldn’t sleep
until about 6 a.m., i called my dad
and without hesitation he picked me up,
and drove
her landlord wouldn’t let us in without a cop
but she saw my tears and realized something is up
so she called 9-1-1 and the attendant walked us in
i remember the quietness, the emptiness, waiting for the door
to be unlocked
the apartment was dark, a light casted from her room,
my dad ran in after years of being separated, i followed
she was incoherent and on the floor
mouth dried, carpet stuck to her lips
malnourished and unclothed,
we wrapped her in a blanket
i laid on the floor and put my hand on her head
she knew it was me,
i saw a twinkle, her first born is here
in hell, like i always promised
no matter what, i will be here for you.
she mumbled and i kept her calm
we both wanted to freak out
her bony fingers interlocked in mine
and i laid there until EMS arrived
her toxicity levels from the prescriptions has poisoned her
and potentially ruined her mind
near death
16 hours in the hospital
and less than 90 lbs
closer to 80 at about 5-foot 5
with more fight than i can express.
once she came back, she tried to smile,
her lips split and the ice cubes was all she was given
to drink
more time
more worries
but she never gave up.

years later, after years of doctor appointments
psychiatrist, group meetings, counselling,
i was always available and constantly checking up.
but then one day, she met Fred
i couldn’t be more grateful
for you to have what seems like your twin
a pain in the ass, full of b.s.
strong and supportive
and a wonderful person.

finally, you have gone back to work
i couldn’t be prouder of you
but please don’t fret and worry
because of what i am facing
i’m sorry, i made you cry
but looking on what you have gone through
i know as your son, i will make it too
i will deal with it, whatever happens
punishments and all
just know that you are my inspiration
to get through
and be a better person.
you are the strongest person i know.


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