Elizabeth Jane on The Mersey

My history presents itself like the gleam of the sun on broken glass in the cracks of decades old pavement; both jagged and incomplete casting brief blinding bursts when you look at it just right. I get caught in a momentary white light where faces of old pets and first loves float in space like small ships in a child's bathtub; sinking and rising at the flick of the wrist. Like a lightning storm of faces and voices that cannot be contained to just the receptors and cortex of my brain, the mudslide of whos and whats overflows into my spine, dragging along with it forgotten debris that rips and tears at my stomach, only to cause my organs to cave in like chunks of a glacier forcing a tidal flood to overflow the banks of my face until my insides come cascading through my eyes. Swept up in the tsunami out she came, as easily as she was lodged within. Her name was Elizabeth and she was real, but sometimes I think maybe she wasn't. As recollections are known to fade so do memories, only leaving lucid second guesses of what once was and empty hopes of what could have been. She was an aurora, a galaxy maybe, or perhaps a dark star burned out millions of years before now, but nonetheless she held court in the sky, shooting from place to place just to visit for a moment until she raced off again for another plane entirely; another time. She was my Mother, the matriarch, or a monarch with a crown, presiding over this mortal kingdom both before and after the grave. I imagine her with wings fluttering in the air like leaves falling from a great oak tree. You will never know her as I did, and I will never know her as well as I convince myself that I do. My children will know her as the wind that creeps through the cracks in the old wood of the house her father built; the whispers and winks that seem to wake you in your sleep, making you uneasy like someone is watching you dream. With her father she sits in the old living room, pressing the floorboards so they creak and whine while tapping on the walls, besides themselves with how clever they both think that they are. Tea time, tea time, tricks to be had, with a half spoon of sugar, and the gab, gab, gab that only spirits can appreciate. She will be a legend, so vivid in my recollection that my children will see her as immortal and expect her to wake under an old willow and re-appear out of the mountains to come tell them stories and give a face to the murmurs they hear when sleeping at their grandfather’s house. She never will see them, but they will see her as she escapes through the tears and the laughter; through the pale blue eyes and crooked teeth that inspire them. She didn't win the pageant but she sure stole the show and so Miss America dances in the morning and all through the night, gaining power from legend and bed time stories of a famed grandmother who just couldn't help herself. Even with my attempts to raise her through recollections of her name, my children will grow out of these expectations of her reappearance like all children do, even though I never will. For me, as the sleep sets in, she will be always be waiting in a pink fur jacket with her hair curled perfectly as only everlasting sleep can provide, and we shall finally talk of the life I created for her, and the truth will come out that I'm entirely right, and entirely wrong at the very same time.