i trace the exquisite lines of my grief, run
fingers over the contours of my rock
gut and work it
and lift my head to find
the world hadn’t ground
to a halt in honor
of my loss.
squeals puncture the playground air
with a drumroll of sneakers that sound carefree but
for the worry of Tag. nothing matters more to the
flustered It than not being It anymore.
the park, a carol of delight
in the moment
it is a holiday.
a daughter is given away,
the sun breaks on the threshold of her hopes,
the horizon a promise outside the windows of the church
i walk into an office, took the long way
through hell. with an unsure i’m sorry
the girl behind the counter continues on her business.
epiphany: the sky that had fallen on me
had shielded her head. her day intact, she consults
the clock that agrees she ought to pick up her
son from school. she doesn’t see
her beautiful ordinary.
a baby is born in the moment of my
stunned helplessness. such long arms:
the hour holds the fullness of a mother in one hand
the air I grasp in the other.
but i bow my head again
my sorrow, a pain that refracts the sun,
br e a k s it.
why must anyone orbit my heartache?
my friend felt so bad that day, all those people swimming
through ocean diamonds while she enjoyed
her day off and i —
nothing to forgive. the joys and and jazz
and espresso and cookies ‘n cream
on steaming streets, and the firecrackers all
just life’s appetite, the pretty woman’s right
to throw her hair back and laugh.
to every thing there is a season and
a time to every purpose under heaven
here: the air i cradle, my offering
to the opulence of living.
~ for all who have grieved