Categories
Grief Mothers Poetry

Bucking Up

She soars
Then tumbles
Turns this way then that
Clouds fill her vision
A dream-time acrobat
Free and unafraid
Yet still filled with dread

A low hum soothes
A baby’s cry
Igniting the world
Opening her eyes
She spies a lapel pin of wings
On a blue clad uniform
Remembering
Her mission
To be with Mom

Impatient restless
She settles on reading

Not understanding a single word
She returns to clouds
Soaring high
This time undisturbed
Until the bounce of a runway
Gathering belongings
She wonders
Panics
Will she make it in time?

Making her way
Through a safari of humans
She stumbles into baggage
Dizzy in fearful grief
Did she remember the driver?
But then
A sign held introduction
Dressed every ounce the mortician
Eases her

Her over packed bag
Hard to lift
Is surrendered
Into this black suit clad angel’s
Capable arms

Escorting her
Into the parking garage

His town car the confessional
She clears her mind
Unloading the burden
Sharing every detail
Her Mother’s story of woe…

The doctor’s diagnosis
Gentle but firm
Two weeks to two months
Mother asks what can be done
Nothing
Pain management
The consolation prize
Silence

Recovering her dignity
“Well it’s been a lovely afternoon Doctor”
A soft laughter fills the room
She is wheeled out still not believing
But none of us do
And we head home in silence
Bucking up

Now there is nothing left
Nothing but the cry of crows
Circling
Waiting
As she clings to the hope
That Mother will be blessed
With an easy exit

They wind through rain soaked streets
The skies crying for her

Frozen heartache
Somehow
Some way
She must
Buck up
Categories
Grief Mothers Poetry Spirituality Women Writing

Entering the Cave

The warehouse bedazzled
A cave full of riches
Smells from Mother’s world
Wafted through
Filling her with almost dread
Boxes piled high
Reflecting a life well garnished
Spying the highest box
The Daughter reached
As best she could
Tip toeing
Extending her arms
To where her fingers
Barely brushed
The cardboard
Arms stretched
Ascending, Scaling
Moving boxes
Becoming a metaphor
For final moments
With one push
One last empty extension
Her fingers somehow
Scooched the bottom
Flying through the air
A trunk full of treasures
Landed in her arms
She held fast
As a Mother
Cradling her newborn
The final bits of stuff
Fill the void
Of lost conversations
Each keepsake a delight
Post It notes
Strategically placed
Offer comfort
Her voice still alive
Mother becoming
A private tour guide
Post It notes leading the way
“George would die
  If he knew how much money
Cleo and I spent
decorating the house...”
 “We found that jade frog
  when we went to China…
  Don’t you remember?”
 ”And that silver pattern
is simply scrumptious..."
A second box?
Of course!
There is silver
Lots of it
Tons of it
No need for cleaning
Delegating the task
Each peace spit and polished
Just before packing
With blue Post It notes
Wanting to insure their purpose
Becoming Mother’s voice
Hearing her clear as day
Another box?
Please!
Pictures
Life with Mom
The Zoo
The park
Disneyland
High School graduation
Mom in her clowning days
Moving boxes and paper
Liter the landscape
While orchestrating a clean up
Of stuffed boxes filled with  paper
A photograph
Flies from nowhere
Mother
Kissing Daughter's forehead
Again
She runs the show
As well it should be
Another box?
Sure…
The third box
Less confronting
Crisp white linens
Way out of date
Mother loved to entertain
All cloth
No paper aloud at her table
Excepting, perhaps
A used cocktail napkin
Keeping linens unsoiled
Another?
O.K.
Treasure chest number five
This one particularly coiled
The ripping
The tearing
Each piece of tape
Reminding her of old wounds
Childhood promises unmasked
Undone, incomplete
Rip
Choosing the husband
Over the daughter
The child left alone
Silent
Rip
Promising an adventure
Then forgetting
The child left behind
Silent
Rip
Friends not knowing
Mom had a daughter
The child invisible
Silent
Rip
Silent
Rip
Silent
Pain unleashed
Tears stream
Each object
Each gift
Now a burden
Rocking
Hugging
Cradling her grief
Ah an explosion of warmth
A calming salve
Comforting
Consoling
Mother’s unbridled tenderness
Stopping cold
The flood of emptiness
Filling her heart space
With nothing but love
Lifting a pain soaked childhood
Now understanding
Mother’s deepest regrets
Were her own fears
Yet in her heart of hearts
The daughter always came first
Always
Tears flowed
Not from grief
But from
Abiding love
The boxes becoming
Once more
An adventure
A discovery
A delight
Another box?
Yes
The Daughter
Reaches into the next
Treasure trunk
Full of silver
Categories
Grief Illness Mothers Poetry

Final Days

Passing through the doorway

Once more
I see her face blank
In drug induced pain relief
She stares out the window
Her moans a mantra of sorts

Pausing before reaching the bed
Now shocked more than grief ridden
Alice descends
Slipping ever more rapidly
Down the rabbit hole
A week becoming a month

Wrangling tears
“Hi Mom…I’m here”
Kissing her check
Our now standard greeting
Seeing her lips caked together
I touch a wet sponge to her mouth
The death bed’s childhood sucker

Dabbing balm ever so gently
Her lips part
A sigh of relief
As a three syllable moan
Becomes the echo of the day
“I love you”
And our secret language is born

Dragging a chair to her bedside
I take her hand
So dry and wrinkled
Never like this before
Changed in only one week
Taking lotion
Massaging her hands
She moans
Gentle, soft, approving relief
More words for this language of two

Laying my head next to hers
We both nap
Snuggling into a time
When sharing a bed
Cuddled into a ball as one
Where no demons could touch us
And everything fit
And time suspended it’s grip

Categories
Grief Poetry

Empty Full

Swooning into life’s reverie

I dip into the ocean of love

I cry in the seas of thunder

I laugh in the wilds of the night

I shine in the tenderness of tolerance

While soaring in the sea,

Dipping in the ocean

Beholding life

Empty-full

Holding blame in yesterday’s corner

I bounce on clouds of laughter

I dance in forest’s sweet meadows

I churn where understanding whispers

I snuggle in memories ablaze

While moments melt into yearning

Lifting out of shadows

Embracing light

Empty-full

Dancing an empty traveler’s sonnet

I bleed life’s conditions

I bleed life’s time

I bleed life’s control

I bleed life’s desire

While the fire bleeds ashen snow

Collapsing in dawn’s delight

Surrendering knowledge

Empty full

Swirling infinite in tomorrow’s reverie

I beg for time borrowed in twilight

I crush the noose tightening with laughter

I swim through desert’s trembling

I embrace wild eyes imagined

While dreaming lies kindly whispered

Adoring a star studded midnight

Melting shadows

Empty full

Life remembered burns lullabies cold with syncopation

I stoke the blood fires scalding time’s march

I fill my belly with new-found memories

I chant the mantras blistering night’s trance

I submerge my being, my light, my body

Into the essence of love’s great chasm

And it is this, only this

Keeping me

Empty-full