Maria Oshodi

I Didn’t See It Coming

I lost my sight, 
but I don’t know where 
I didn’t see it coming

It was between the ages of 10 and 20,
Then between 2010 and 20 I did see
Patricia growing lost
But she is still here

When the world around me faded
In a premature dusk 
Patricia watched me, silent, anguished,
With hands that were always ready

I didn’t see it coming
Her memory ,chopped up, like waves around her ankles
Sweeping fragments of her away on the tide
While I stand steadfast on the shore 
Trying to hold her hands tight in mine

Sorcerer’s hands that years before 
made party dresses appear
like new friends, tumbling from, 
rolls of anonymous cloth 
Perfectionist fingers snipping half a head,
A leg, and an arm from folds,
To reveal 
a whole chain of paper dolls.

The same hands that pulled my arm through hers 
when I couldn’t see the street any more.

I didn’t see it coming
That those hands would forget what they once knew, 
Her mind concertinaing on itself 
a collapsed folded thing
forcing her to fidget, fret and tare at fabric  
That her hands had once communed with 

I didn’t see it coming
She would one day wander around 
looking for something that she can clearly see
And I would one day feel around 
seeking for something that I cannot
Us, both saying, 
“Where is it?”
“what did I do with it?”
“Where has it gone?”

A wave swells up 
Breaks, crashes down
Scattering any return across the sand 
Of my vision, and the memory of  my mother

relating to the remnants, is what is left 
And just a frayed guarantee
will I continue to know myself
as I now know myself to be? 
For, I didn’t see it coming.

Maria Oshodi © 2020