Hi everyone! Happy Wednesday! I want to apologize first, before jumping back into anything, for the break in posts. I really love National Poetry Month and am incredibly disappointed that I don’t get to post every day this month to celebrate. This past week, I had a family emergency and had to travel back and forth between home and my family, twice—and if you have a kid or kiddos, you understand what a feat that can be. I’ve been home since Monday, but I’m finding it really difficult to get emotionally settled, catch up on sleep, and get back into the swing of work—not to mention writing my own stuff and doing laundry.
All that aside, though, I’m excited to get back into poetry. Even when I’m exploring a new poet or form, and I’m doing the work of parsing it, reading it is incredibly relaxing. I’m grateful to have poetry with me in the midst of all this.
I’m not sure if I’ll have my first post ready for you with a book recommendation, new poem, and prompt tonight, but for certain tomorrow! In the meantime, for today’s poem, I’m sharing something recent of mine that I’m proud of. It was hard to write, and will perhaps be hard to read for some (CW: loss of a child, accidental death); but it’s a dream I kept having on repeat (thank you, PPD) that I needed to write out (and haven’t had again since I confronted it). I hope someone enjoys it or even finds solidarity in it.
Months ago, I realized my son
would die, & the certainty left me weak
for days. A pit
in the lower-right of my abdomen, like a hole
where all truths must be born.
Whenever I have felt such certainty from this place, I have never
been wrong. The first time this part
of my body awoke, I was eight & aware
my barn cat had died. All morning I searched
the different air, & I found him mewling
at the bottom of a rusted barrel where he had
hidden himself away. I carried him home, offered
him water & blankets, only for him to die
a few hours later. Several other instances have
come & gone, & I am always right. This time
the truth comes to me in a repeated dream, where
the beginning is always different. Sometimes
my son appears as the toddler form of the baby
I now hold, knowing the world on two wobbly
legs. Sometimes he appears as a beautiful, gangly
young man with the thinnest veil of hair
on his chest, too dark for his pale skin. Then come
the series of causes: leaning in too close, running,
a fall, pure drunkenness—and finally, the part
that always comes: the deep, foggy dive
into the pit of a pool, never deep enough to resemble
the pit I now carry like a red-hot appendix. His body
like a ball in the foggy water & the certainty
that waves high like the moon I wish would fall. I awake
& hold onto my son like it will undo all the things
I’ve seen. I pray into his neck to go to quieter places—
places not quiet with the loss of my little boy,
where I leave him flowers & toys & visit
his room, surrounded by those I love who are also
colored with grief. I hide in his warmth, here & now, & pray
the rest will be washed away with the bedsheets.
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