26 May 2022

I did not know

i did not know 
the death rattle 
would come 
so soon after 
the plastic one 
was gifted
as a hand-me-down. 

i did not know 
you would be stolen in an afternoon, 
before a summer vacation. 

how dare anyone do this to you. 

to deny you the discomfort
of growing into 
odd features, 
gaps in smiles, fixed. 

no. instead, 
you were stolen. 
no one had that right. 

and out will come 
the phrases 
we have heard before, 
about heaven 
gaining little angels, 
about prayers, 
"let me know if you need anything,"
"i am so sorry for your loss," 

and none of these
words, these deaths 
will serve 
as a unifying action, just 
separate fingers 
dancing, as they do, 
across little keys, 
until we say enough.

how many are enough

08 May 2022

Mother's Day, 2022

Dear V,

It's been two years since you left. It also just so happens to be Mother's Day today. 

To say I think about you every day is an understatement: there are moments, feelings, that are super-glued to tasks. I worry, for instance, about your disapproval of my poor housekeeping, of not making my bed, of not getting out the pots and pans when I'm depressed. 

I worry about the white lies I tell to spend more time resting. Then I remember that you used to do that, too, when people would take and take. You wouldn't tell them to stop. You would be softer, surprisingly. You would just tell them to pause, via a little white lie...

I think about you every time I see an animal. I saw a fox tonight, disoriented or perhaps hit by the car ahead of me. I prayed for it. I cried for it.

I prayed, also, for the sick cat, one of yours, now under Dad's care. I pray and pray. I pray for more capable hands than mine to tend to these wounds.

I can give love and a couple of resources here and there, but I can't often give my time or my physical self, and I'm so sorry.

I hope you can forgive me. I hope you're still proud of me, of what I can do...

I miss your stories, even the ones I've heard over and over. A night owl, you would rock back and forth, spill secrets until 3:00am. And, oh, my guilt for feeling weary and tired... My guilt for not wanting to spend breakfast with you those last days, after you'd gone and bought those Wheat Chex and that soy milk... You didn't know I had plans in the morning. I probably hurt you in small moments like these -- when you made choices that were meant to be surprises for me, but I'd already made plans. Damned plans, interrupting play, interrupting opportunities to laugh with you, or help you...

I hope you can forgive my broken promises and unreturned calls. I tried to catch them all, but I'm sure I missed quite a few.

Now, I picture you rocking in your chair, with a book, killing time until one of your granddaughters called you back. Beautiful lady, so generous with her time, never bored, always thinking aloud -- I hope you know that I always appreciated you, and I always tried to say so.

I miss you so much.

Love, Shanny