truths

 photo by  Margaret Durow
This post mentions my rainbow children.


that first,
            I was a different kind of mother
            and nothing about that is self-evident

that my first is not my oldest,
            my oldest not my first—
            they would not be here
            if not for his death,
            and if he were here,
            they would not
            be

            yet here are two daughters,
            their embodiment—
            substantial,
            growing,
            bubbling with sound and life—
            makes insubstantial my once feather-light son

that for a time I believed
            and now
            I do not disbelieve
            but gods remain elusive,
            a whimsy of youth,
            an academic pursuit

that death is not the end of existence
            but a sharp crack,
            a shaking of the earth and heavens,
            a reverse of the magnetic poles
            so all stands on its head,
            heavy and disoriented

that my baby died on christmas day
            yet I can allow the magic of christmases
            to light my daughters’ eyes
            I can experience joy

that we do not call it celebration
            but we celebrate,
            accumulating the trappings of ritual,
            ornaments,
            butterflies,
            the six letters of his name
            printed over and over

            and though he will never have a happy birthday,
            he was still
            born

 

Dear Glow community,
This is my last post as a regular contributor at Glow. When I first came to warm my hands at this fire, snakes writhing on my head, constrained under my hat, my head bent with shame, I believed I was ugly with grief. But here at Glow I have uncovered and claimed such power. I have been able to honor my son's place in my life. Joseph died four years ago yesterday and was born four years ago tomorrow. Time passes slowly, and in a blink, and grief shifts, lightens. It is time for me to go.
Thank you for listening, for sitting with me, for sharing your truths. Thank you for being on this journey with me. 
                                                               ~~Burning Eye