Woman - Ruminate Magazine


July 08, 2020 2 Comments

Thank you for helping us celebrate the newest season of The Waking. 





I told her she was the perfect mom. This was when she tried to pull the tubes from her arms, the gloves from her hands. One of the nurses said, “Oh, she’s a fighter.” She was biting furiously on the plastic tube in her mouth. When they took it out, she was determined, in a slurred speech, to speak to me. Becomebeautiful womanlove—she was breathless, persistent, drunk with medication, my mother dying. 


I am driving on a strip of land, far tip of the Cape, leaving Provincetown. It’s the summer after mom died. Outside my open window, white gorgeous sand dunes.

Is this my late praise? Is this longing? Mom turns to sand. She becomes my mother. No edges.





Nancy Bryan teaches creative writing at Brookdale Community College in New Jersey. Her writing and artwork has been published in various journals including Calyx, Cortland Review, and The Comstock Review. Her first book of poems, The Blue Lantern, appeared in 2019. Nancy lives with her two dogs in Fair Haven, N.J. www.nancysbryan.com



"Woman" was originally published in The Waking on May 21, 2020. 


Read more short nonfiction



Photo by Payson Wick on Unsplash.





2 Responses

MB Motts
MB Motts

July 12, 2020

Reflective, moving, and sequential. A single tear would have been a good measure of my response to your writing, but more flowed freely. Not in pain, but in the understanding of the process and stages of grieving that we go through in response to the loss of a loved one. The loss that brings pain, guilty, despair, and finally resolution if we are lucky. Your brief and poetic writing took me succinctly through the memory and process of my own grieving and left me standing on the pristine sands of acceptance and reflection. Thanks.

Charissa Troyer
Charissa Troyer

July 09, 2020

This is pretty interesting. However, what do you mean when you say that the mother has “no edges”?

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