Five years hence, I felt a swell of joy. Anticipation. Amplification.
Five weeks in, cessation.
Five weeks more, awareness.
Five weeks further, separation.
I gathered seeds that weekend, to memorialize.
I’ve sown them each memorial weekend since.
They, as their motive, didn’t take.
I still, mostly, don’t say.
I still, mostly, can’t stand.
So I still, mostly, let sway.
If I leave the office just when. If the lights time just so. If the traffic behaves just. If, if, if.
I am home with a little light left. Greeted at the door by two gleeful voices, one escorts me to the closet. “Mama work. Mama jacket off?”
Yes, love. As hurriedly as I can. “Mama’s shoes? Closet?” Yes, love. “I do it.” Mmm… My turn. “Up, please.” It is not a question. Outside? “Yesh!”
Outside we traipse. He, on my hip, me seeking peace. Where can I find a sip of calm. Where can I snatch a glimpse of soothing. What can I feed my soul before the light dies.
I uncover the kumquat. I de-leaf the strawberries. I unwrap Bill and find his lit leaves warm at his feet.
I eyeball the compost pile. Is there time? I could…
“Uh oh, mama.” Quickly, I look up. The light is dying. The moment has passed. Only the tips of the neighboring trees are still frosted with the day’s last color. I look over my shoulder. Uh oh, indeed.
Sometimes, it is the seeds sown
yet not grown
that burn the memories deepest.
Sometimes, it is the stories
their beating in my skull.
Sometimes, it is the same pain,
I find it hard to breathe.