On The Edge of Fall by Kristine Cosgrove

My mother is getting older, and I worry that I won’t get a chance to tell her I was wrong, either before I get release, or — something more finite, which I can’t even bring myself to say outloud.

I have memories of swinging on the tire swing that hung from our weeping willow, the scent of salt wafting up from the ocean nearby, and my mother hanging fresh laundry in the sunshine. A parade of white sheets waving their greetings in the breeze. My mother never understood me. I didn’t have conversations that I longed to have with her on our ocean front property. I would have told her that I’d found baby kittens in the barn, and that I was caring for them. I would have mentioned that I enjoyed dressing them up in my dolls clothes, and taking them for a bike rides, wearing bonnets, in the white basket that was strapped to the front of my handle bars.

It’s when the weather is on the edge of fall that I think of my mother. I don’t have the courage to write to her from prison, and tell her any of these things. I just have the memories of wanting to talk to her — but she was always busy doing something else.

Too busy for talks about kittens dressed in bonnets…

going on adventures with a little girl who thought deeply about all sorts of topics.

My mother still doesn’t know that I think like a poet, and that I paint with my words.

I don’t think she ever will, and I’ve made peace with that.

Kristine Cosgrove
DOC #WF9774


3 replies »

  1. Write your mother that letter and keep it if you are afraid to send it. You will be amazed what it will do for you. It is better to write it and hold onto it, for you will get your feelings out, and that is a key to getting better.


  2. Kristine

    You do indeed sound like a poet. Your words are very moving.

    I would just like to encourage you to consider writing to your mother.
    There is nothing to lose by doing it and you could possibly gain something very wonderful.
    Please give it some consideration.
    Praying for you


  3. Dear Kristine, I could so relate to this. You are an amazing and highly talented, articulate writer. I don’t think anyone could have written better about things we never told our mothers that we wish we had been able to share. I am 76, so grew up in a very different generation. My mother ironed sheets and underwear, and she believed that women had a particular path in life, which did not include going to college or following a path we might have chosen in our lives. She also denied a lot of the things that happened to a young girl being molested by the father in our home, so although I have never been able to write her, I think she knew those things in life, but denied anything that didn’t feel safe for her to address to protect her own safety and world.

    I got to write my mother that letter and tell her everything in my soul after she died. I did not have to send the letter. I just had to get it out on paper to acknowledge that part of me that needed to share and to be protected and loved. I realized once I wrote the letter that was written, how much it felt as though a huge boulder was at last lifted from my chest. I don’t know your age, but it sounds as though you could have very well been in the same age group or perhaps a little younger. I am going to read the rest of your writings on this page a little later and reply to them too.

    You know, inside each of us, there is a tiny inner child who is very wounded – sometimes with invisible wounds but they are wounds nonetheless. We have to let that child know that we are going to protect her every single day. Someone told me to get or make a tiny piggy bank and each night to put a penny in it for her (you might now be able to do this, but perhaps you can draw something special your inner child would love). Little by little we have to find our child’s self and bring her back and let her know how wonderful she is in this world. We have all made mistakes in our lives, all of us. No one gets out of this life without at least one very big mistake. Your life is sacred. If you read mythology and tales of centuries past, you will see that even the Gods did very stupid things at times. I have been reading the myth called Gilgamesh, written in Sumeria and considered to be the oldest literature. I think you will find it very interesting with regard to human behavior.

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful and touching writing. I imagine there are a lot of us women out there in the universe who can totally relate to what you wrote.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s