I find myself turning more to poetry the older I get. Maybe because I’m uncertain about the process of aging. I thought I’d have more answers, but I get more uncertain with each passing day. It seems I can come to grips with that uncertainty, and, by the way, with insomnia, by indulging myself.
Here is a line
Here is a line,
A place, a space,
Where she is and she is not.
Containing finite territory and infinite ether.
Side by side. Both parts are her. Seen and unseen.
How can this be? Yet it is.
“Metastatic breast cancer.”
She speaks with practiced ease from saying the words a thousand times,
Thinking them a million times.
Where she is now will become the reverse,
Where she is now will transmute into a void.
How will I know her shape when she is gone?
Both halves exist now. Her and not-her.
Both halves will continue afterwards. Her and not her.
She walks, a shape, a shade, at the same time,
Her presence, gradually losing substance until she becomes her own counterpart.
I wait day by day.
Grasp the wisps of her
Flowing through my fingers like fog.
Hardly satisfactory, now or then,
Until she is missing.
Only a hollow,
Nothing to be done
Except fill the outlines of both sides of her with my pain
Jump for joy.
Run and throw arms up and out,
Spin, whirl, twirl, hair trailing, blowing.
Always moving, never stopping, somersaulting, kicking, vaulting.
Leap off stairs, roll down hills.
Toss balls and handfuls of grass, even an umbrella if you have one,
Or a little brother.
Pull skirts over butts, shoulders, heads.
Break things—toys, sticks, balloons, but not bones.
Sob when mom says no.
Pick nose, scratch sting, bite sister.
Lick a Popsicle, spit a wad, chew a taffy, suck a straw, munch a cookie.
Scream, howl, whistle, sing.
Skip, race, yell, punch.
Hair and arms and legs flying.
Small last one trying, always failing
to keep up.
Laugh, smile, cry, shout.
Turn, dance, clap in time or out
Hug, kiss, stroke, pinch, cry.
Chase, catch, push, knock down.
Dance, parade, prance.
Faces smeared with ice cream, dirt, chocolate, mustard.
Look up. Clouds, sky.
Look around. Trees, park, people.
Trip, fall, laugh, cry.
Everyone loves someone here.
Yes, even the blond toddler blasting anger.
How long will this last? How long can it?
Harvest energy and life unbound.
A new crop next year.
(I’ve been trying my hand at more poetry, usually grounded in the everyday)