"You never taught me how to canerow" I said.
She was in the ground now, covered with bored, dry earth. A muted hail of shovels patted upon the mound of dirt like static rain, or the crunch of wheels on hot tar. By now the crowd had dissipated and I was left beneath a shower of cherry blossom petals and I drowned amongst the white lilies beneath me. You never taught me how to canerow, I thought, but you taught me how to fear myself. The crippling aversion to solitariness that would lead a person to chain themselves to another who was already moving away, vanishing from decency, their heart closed to love, came from you. I spend too much time with others, in too many cold beds, nursed too many bruises and traumas just to spend time away from myself, to let other people know that I was attached and that I had a significant other. You taught me how to hate others, to hate myself, to hate my skin and hair and nails and feet; the way my eyes blinked in the face of confrontation, the way my heart always beat faster in fear whenever I tried to do something significant--I learnt it from you. You taught me that motherhood is a heavy yoke, one that breaks the back and digs into the neck, makes women bend downwards like wilted flowers until they are merely graveside ornaments being bleached by the sun and drowned by rain and earth and worms, and that motherhood is thankless and without mercy, that women become personless as soon as their stomach swells with the harvest of pregnancy, and that no one cares about them anymore because they are attached to little people who steal from them and crush their bodies and reduce their dreams to mere stars in the sky and all they'll ever do is return to the earth with their seed cast away on the wind.. You taught me how to run away from home and empty experiences only to remain bottomless and without a plan. You taught me to be dependent on everything but myself, and to be weak, and to be hateful.