& this is the way she put it: that night you cried your way
into this world following through the dark tunnel of my body
& you were the light at the end of it all…
It’s that season for the flowering of tender memories
& we are all gathered in this place we have known as home,
huddled together under the moonlight of this grief that has found us,
Mother, you are far from me. & this strikes me like an arrow
Shot through my neck. I am losing the strength
that came from you, gasping, my. breath, a sorrow that may
Not endure the night…
In this fragile place of remembering,
I am knitting back the joy you wove into my childhood
into a blanket to keep me warm through this cold night,
I have snuffed out the candlelight evoking my mother’s mournful
shadow, Lord, may this grief pass over me for I am your child—
Like an eagle in predatory descent whose stretched talons are chipped away
By a strong wind, may I be this lucky prey full of grace
Like that night I watched my father shake her vigorously
Like she had fallen into a deep sleep; shake her vigorously,
Like there was some good news she was supposed to hear
before shutting her eyes against hope: like the new job he got, the new car,
the new news from the doctor: that she was finally free of cancer,
I, too, am shaking this sorrow by the scruff of its neck,
Willing it to let go of me; my tears, more water than grease,
cannot loosen me from its grip.
Shout-out to the light I was at the time of my birth,
I am dimming faster than I even remember
I should have known this world I was pushed into was only an extension of that
which I crawled out from
Do you understand? I am still crying


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