The Fan

This time it was a portable fan
That brought me to my knees.

Sound asleep beside me
My husband unaware.

That our simple bedroom fan
Has activated my trauma.

The exact same fan and sound
As my childhood bedroom fan.

The exact same fan and sound
That my mother used to put on for me.

Cooling my body down
In the heat of our hot summers.

Tonight I turned the fan on
For our little baby girl.

She does not yet know
About my past traumas.

She does not yet know
About her mother’s mother.

She sleeps soundly
Peacefully unaware.

Blissfully enjoying the heat
Cooled down by her bedroom fan.

The fan put on by me
Her doting, loving mother.

Like my mom was for me
A loving, doting mother.

I spilled out of the bed
Unable to fall asleep.

Drowning in the sound
Of the goddamn bedroom fan.

As it kept growing louder
So did my inner-thoughts.

Until I had to leave the room
Unable to take much more.

Walking to our daughter’s room
A similar sound creeps up.

She is sleeping in her room
Under the comfort of her fan.

The same fan that we have
The same that I grew up with.

The sound of her bedroom fan
Is oddly satisfactory.

The joy of watching her sleep
Overriding my creeping grief.

If I close my eyes
I can still see Mom.

Turning on my fan
In my childhood bedroom.

If I close my eyes
I can still hear Mom.

Whispering “night, night pet”
While turning on that fan.

We had no air-conditioning
When I grew up in the nineties.

Just that glorious fan
Providing us with heat relief.

If I close my eyes
I can still smell Mom.

The sweet perfume she wore
Mixed in with the smell of sunscreen.

Her walking out of my bedroom
After turning on my fan.

“How come you cannot sleep?”
My husband noticed me gone.

“Because of our damn fan!”
I tell him the honest truth.

The fan that feels so nice
Drowning him in its white noise.

Is the same fan bringing me back
To my childhood bedroom with her.

Drowning me in painful memories
Causing me inability to sleep.

Wrapping myself in his arms
He sees me cry about the fan.

The stupid bedroom fan
That has triggered all the memories.

The stupid bedroom fan
That was supposed to help me sleep.

The stupid bedroom fan
That I love for bringing her back.

Because as much as it hurts
I remember that damn fan.

The way it made me cool down
During our deadly summer heat.

The fan a summertime symbol
Of our everlasting love.

Who would have thought
That a fan could do such things?

I would never have thought
That a fan could do such things.

Such as trigger a strong memory
Reminding me to make more of them.

Now that I am a mother
I will turn on my daughter’s fan.

Even with our air-conditioning
I will always turn on her fan.

To keep her cool and comfy
During the deadly summer heat.

Helping to cool her down
While relaxing her with its noise.

To remind her when I’m gone
To remember me in the breeze.

Because of that damn fan
I held my mother for a moment.

Because of that damn fan
I know that I am still alive.

Enjoying the love she left me
Woven in mundane moments.

Like turning on a simple fan
And all that that can bring.

Kaila A. Notto

Copyright © The Mindful Millwright 2020. All Rights Reserved.











Published by The Mindful Millwright

Kaila A. Notto

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