Thursday, December 31, 2009

a poem


On the very edge of darkness
I looked Death square in the eye, and smile.
He points two fingers at his eyes
and then at mine,
to say like a bad comedy gangster,
I’m watching you.
Then with those same two fingers,
he thumps my sternum,
tips me off the edge of the precipice.
I fall into the nothing, into the void,
and back home to my body.

I am home, I have been there
with Death a few times,
and somehow at that crucial moment,
something in me awakes,
shines the light back out
and says, I’m not done yet.

I fall like a meteor,
come back home
To earth
To my body
growing more achy
with the years
but still whole.

The vision doesn’t end
when I open my eyes.
I now know what to do.
I find the knot that stitches
my ribcage together, pull it,
and it comes apart -
an easy bow at the wrist of a boxing glove
the arch point of a sneaker
the back of a laced up wedding gown.
My chest opens like a robe,
and from in me
all the darkness of night
all the stars held in it
come pouring out.

I remain open,
a conduit to the infinite we.


  1. made me think of truly laying yourself open, which reminded me of the note i got from my father this afternoon. he read my blog about 10 years of lessons and was hurt. he doesn't normally read my blog unless i ask him to and I told him that post was there. he said all that he could say was that i was a very powerful writer who obviously didn't remember the good times that happened when he and my mom were married. that stung. he's never been able to talk about the difficult things and when i write about them, about my personal feelings regarding the death of my mother, not about him, and he turns it into something about him. par for the course. oh well. at least i can talk about it. :-)

  2. sorry, i saw your next comment after the thank you -

    i'm sorry you had to deal with that. sometimes it's hard for our parents to see things from our perspective. they forget we are not bit players in their lives but that our lives are rich on their own and part of that is our stories with them and how the stories affect us, rather than them.

    i hope that when these conversations come up with my boys, esp k, because he was more aware when we divorced and it affected him a lot, that i can remember his perspective is a very strong one. thank you for reminding me of that.

    recently something came up from that time and he was very emotional about what he never mentioned back then. i finally had to stop him and say, i was unaware of that at the time. if i had known, of course i would have done all i could for him to be taken care of. but i couldn't have known without him mentioning it. he looked taken aback that i couldn't read his mind when he was 7, and now he knows...if something is on his mind, he has to tell me if he wants me to do something about it.

    i hope you didn't hurt too badly after your father's note.


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