I answer the phone..

I answer the phone and
their memories spill out of the ether.

Its not enough to grieve but to remember together
what she was like or
what he said or
how forgiveness is as hard as the long dark night.

It has all changed us at a molecular level,
all those things we did,
things required
and unrequited.
How did we know to place our hands to that work,
how did we summon the courage to lift
and carry that burden-
the weight was great but not unwelcomed.
We rose each morning and put our hearts to the test-
until, weeping with the stars,
we lay just for a moment before we were called
again and again and again.

Love sustains and
Will exceeds what we know
and that which we cannot comprehend.
Those things that we were called to do
changed our DNA
until suffering is no longer feared
and death seems somehow diminished
in the light of an autumn afternoon.

I will not say

wild roses

I will not say,
This is Tuesday, the day she left,
Two weeks ago.
I will not look at the clock and say,
She breathed her last at 10 til 9,
Two weeks ago.
No.
I will not say that.

I will not say
It was easy
Or hard
Or I was blessed
Or I sacrificed.
I will not say that.

I will not say
There were days I could have been kinder
Or sometimes the frustration chafed
And she knew.
I will not say that I would do it all over again.
No.

It was a choice
Made without enough information or
maybe not well thought out.
Seemingly,
This is how I have lived my life-
Making decisions
And just doing it.

Its just what we did,
Together,
Each day,
Each conversation, smile and gesture-
Its just what we did.

That I will say.
And remember.

Easy in the Going

She waits
for the word to come down
her train is leaving soon –
ticket purchased
and held tightly
in her beautiful hands.

(parchment pale hands,
thin and strong,
that once held such powerful music.
And in all the keys,
she played our lives
so that we were formed
by the sound of her heart)

She waits for the bells to toll
and for the band to start –
she is easy in the going
and longing
for the gentle rocking of the rails.

… My mother caught her train yesterday morning and arrived in heaven as the angel band played a loving welcome. She was easy in the going and for that we are eternally grateful.

bare feet on asphalt

This leave taking of life
Is not easy as it sounds.
Its not like the soul
Flits from the chest
Like some kinda airy fairy.

It more like extricating yourself
From a tangle of baling wire
And knotted hemp rope,
All scratchy and coiled,
And maybe wrapped by duct tape,
Several times around.

I remember, as a little girl, running across hot asphalt,
Soles of my bare feet summer hardened,
But the tar that oozed up from the cracks of the road
Attached itself and
I was always a little afraid that I would become
Stuck, unable to move.

Thats maybe the closest thing I can imagine-
Stuck to life,
Slowly pulling away,
Only to leave tracks of bare feet
Behind.

lovely in her diminishment

Crescent Moon and Venus 8-2012

Waning crescent moon,
dark hued
and lovely in her diminishment,
cradles in upturned arms
the shadow of her fullness.
The dark roundness
heavy against the setting bow,
fills the void
of what once was abundance
and will be again.
Her ebbing light,
soon to darkness and rest
in a starry landscape,
until her rebirth,
the silver sliver loveliness of the
waxing crescent moon.

*** This poem was written several years ago. Now taking on a different meaning for me.

Our Lenten Season

Early Spring Morning

Our Lenten season continues.
Daily rituals of sacrifice and penance are observed
as we struggle with the mysteries of life.

This life filled with –
well, with those things life is filled with –
things that we love and suffer-
faces of loved ones, song, sun and moon,
food and warmth, the aching of need
and want.
We hold fast to breath
and heartbeat, far past the time our legs
and body have become undone.

I repent of all the sins I have committed
against her.
Just as each child is guilty and must be forgiven,
I also forgive her
for all those common sins that mothers commit
against their children
out of habit
or frustration
or love.

We both repent
and with ashes marked on our foreheads
continue on with her morning ablutions
and daily baptism of water
and life.