My mother was attacked
Beaten badly
Left frail and dazed
Her life was not taken suddenly,
But slowly, in bits
a memory here,
a word there

Her mind transcended scientific laws
She manipulated time and space/past and present/life and death,
all were simultaneously intertwined and interchangeable.
In the span of 5 minutes or less,
I became
her mother, her childhood friend, her shopping chum, her sister, her daughter,
a stranger,
a shadow.

I was helpless
My eyes saw her,
but she could not see me.
I think of the time we were separated in a crowded store,
I was this scared little girl frantically looking for my mother
Decades later, I am again frantically looking for my mother.

We were a family
She held us so close
Then we were strangers
My mother was attacked
Badly beaten
Left frail
Her life was not taken suddenly
But slowly
In bits and pieces
a memory here,
a word there.


Janet Cormier is a painter, writes prose and poetry, and performs comedy. JC prefers different and original over pretty. She loves collecting stuff, but cleaning not so much. Janet also talks to strangers…a lot. Her column appears regularly in Oddball Magazine.