Tuesday, August 21, 2007



I step out from beside my mother’s grave
And watch the sun fade to black
Take a swig from the amber liquid
And lay my head down
Where I imagine her shoulder to be
Six feet below.

I don’t care if crows don’t come
I don’t care
If I have dirt in my hair
Earth beneath my nails
If I’m confined to solitary longing
Over a period of centuries.

The sobs that have choked me
For a decade or more
Surprising me.

I thought I was over this.

July is past.

I’m a grownup now.


The words echo:
“You never stop missing your mother.”
And how can you?
When her eyes look out
From beneath your own
Chocolate pools in an olive face
That’s never seen a sunburn.

The amber soothes and calms
Slides down my throat
Where the sobs have gathered.

There is nothing on this August day
That has brought her to mind.
No photos or laughter
Handwriting or words
Nothing like what used to startle me
Make me catch my breath,
Surprised by the vanity of emotion
As it tumbled through my body.

And yet, her she is, insistent.
I know I pale in comparison,
The chocolate eyes not quite as warm
The larger hands, so much rougher
The broken nails an embarrassment--
They never see polish.
I am a failure in my figure
A failure in my choice of profession
Although I doubt that she would see it so.
Her thoughts, imagined, and
His, oh so real, mingle in my psyche.


I lie down upon her grave
And think how long she has been gone
Lying motionless in the cold, hard earth
Even if her soul has transcended the space below.

I lie down that I may rise again
The tiniest note from her phoenix song
Coursing through my veins
Telling me it’s too soon to give up
To give in
To give over.

I embrace the sadness like a mantle
Wrap it around me
And realize that it is only by slowing down
Removing myself from the wheels of everyday life
That I have let the emotion creep its way
Back in.
On tenterhooks it enters my body
Flows in
And out again.
I give it space
And an embrace
Before setting it free.
It falls around me like rain
Before it seeps into the cold, dark earth
Mingling with
The beloved bones that sleep below.

I lie down so that I might rise up
Snippets of her phoenix song in my blood
Knowing that, in my heart of hearts,
I am not a failure.
She would never have thought so,
Despite what others think.

I rise up
Pick up my pen
Begin again.

16 aug 07