Maria Oshodi


I Didn’t See It Coming

A poem by Maria for her Mother Patricia Oshodi features on page 17 in the 3rd volume of Untitled Writing Published in June 2021.

Maria’s hand with brown skin  tone, has an antique bracelet showing, holding older  white woman’s hand

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 tear 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.

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