Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Part of a Wish

April 12, 2011

When I was reading all the things you posted on Twitter, Myspace and Facebook, I came across some lists you made.  One of the things you wanted was for someone to write you a love song.  It was such a sweet thing to ask.  But even now, it is a wish I cannot grant.  Though I made sure you learned to play an instrument, the violin,  I never learned to read music.  I always had to sing along. 

In high school I wrote poetry.  I wrote well enough to get published in some anthologies, though I could not tell you which ones.  I sold a poem once to the ­Tacoma News Tribune for $25.00.  After high school, I dabbled with poetry once in awhile, but never for more than a few days or weeks at a time.  There were always other, more pressing demands.  My stories, my thoughts, the words that tumbled round in me seeking exit, remained trapped. 

After you died, after I could pull myself out from under the down comforter long enough to take a bath, I began to listen to the words that formed.  I tried to write them down, but tears turned them into rivers of ink I could not read.  Now, the tears come less frequently, I cannot stop the flow of words.  I write everywhere and race to find pen and paper to capture thoughts.  Even though I cannot write you a love song, I wrote you a poem.

For Andrea on Her 29th Birthday

Your letterman jacket
hangs limply
on my office chair
I eat from pink chopsticks
painted with dogwood blossoms
you purchased in Shanghai
the Blessed Virgin oil
you bought in Italy
I found rolled up in a cardboard tube
hangs framed now
above my desk
your baby shoes
scuffed from crawling
sit next to a framed picture of you
learning how to surf.

I cannot bend to this
there is no truth here I want to know
on my knees
I beat bare earth
demanding back
what was never mine
to keep.

Are you afraid?
I am.

Do you miss me there?
I miss you here.

I gather all I am
ever was
I draw from trees
grass, sky
call out your name

Do you call out to me?

I catch glimpses
chase you
look for you in dreams.

I hear music now
I am carried away on the notes
of a violin
haunting me
the melody brings me back again
to the whole of it
this world without you.

                                                Love you--Mom