My siblings text each other,
A net to catch and diffuse the grief.
Three years ago? Is that all?
Is that a long time, or a short time?
I can’t tell.
When I first started this blog, all of my poems were about you.
Now I have moved on to lesser things.
But once in a while
The wound reopens, raw to the air.
I swore to learn to cry.
I’ve gotten better.
But this winter and the holidays
They make me think of you
a dull inner ache
and I keep smiling.
The difference is
I write, too.
You wouldn’t want us to hurt.
You wouldn’t want any pain for us.
You did all you could to spare us.
We were happy.
We are happy.
But life isn’t just smiles, is it?
Sometimes life is scraped fingers
Bruised knees, twisted ankles
High fevers and learning to stand up for yourself.
You knew this too.
This time of year I wear your long jacket.
It keeps my legs warm.
It’s very dignified.
I still see you wearing it
Helping you over the curb with your walker
to the Chinese restaurant
for Orange Chicken. Always Orange Chicken.
Orange Chicken for life.
The waitress took it kindly
When you told her you loved her
And gave her a hug.
She could tell something was wrong.
I smiled at her discomfiture
And apologized with my eyes
But deep down
I wanted to be you right then.
This chocolate shake is for you.
Happy birthday mom.
And the stars wrap around me.
I am born under Capricorn
I grow up under Orion
In the crisp country night
I see black and white.
Under the bright fluorescents of education
I learn what color means.
I get a job
In a room with high speckled ceilings.
I struggle smally.
I see the moon in the mornings
And dappled winter sunsets.
I grow old
Joints from creaks to cries
Complaints from whispers to shouts
My hands grasping at light-pierced blankets
I face my own mortality.
And the stars wrap around me.
I’m going on a trip to the Grand Canyon! I leave early tomorrow, so just a few hours from now. I’m excited to see the beauty of a real desert. Checking it off the bucket list!
I’ll be gone all next week and maybe the one after that. Please don’t expect me to an amazing, or consistent, or even existent blogger. I will return, with a scalp full of sand and a mind full of ventifact geometry.
Maybe this is a good time to post this one. Not even sure if it counts as a poem, just food for thought.
Running out of time
How much is left
To do what we want
To do what others want
What kind of a bucket list should we have?
Here is a bucket list written by a six-year-old.
– sit in hot tub
– visit grandma and grandpa
– catch frogs
– see a movie with mom
This is how simple life can be.
She has no agenda
No outside influence
On what a bucket list should say.
Her world is small and rich.
No popular tourist destinations
No huge purchases
All she wants
Is to spend her time doing what she enjoys
With people she loves.
For the unwanted children:
All the sparklike souls who have been wished, prayed, gut punched out of existence
The ones we feared we couldn’t feed
The ones our bodies couldn’t survive
The ones our shame would make the bearing of unbearable
The ones who sensed something wrong through the umbilicus
Swallowing too much adult stress
Growing into a faulty womb
Or missing some vital element
Feeling that they are too sick already, or misshapen
Who, being incapable of tenacity
Threw themselves into the sharp cold air or the filthy toilet water
Their parents ignorant, never knowing nor suspecting
That their future has just been protected
By their potential progeny.