Sitting at Powell’s

I sit in this bookstore
where I feel detached
from the young and
too young to be the old.
Miles away, memories
come in with the fog
and rest their toes at
the edge of the water.
The only promise of life
is the sound of fury
from beyond what
only the lost can see.
I can only hope my
ghost is always there,
walking the shoreline
and dreaming, neither
young nor old, but
timeless in this melody
that never leaves us.

Removed

(to Faith on her 13th birthday)

So far removed from where I once was,
I often fear you will not find me;
yet, when you do, I’m reminded,
I’m never far removed from you.
I know one day, no one will remember.
And one day, no one will care.
But until then, my child, I still do.
I carry with me, to this day, the flutter of your movements, as if to say, “I survived, Mom, and so will you.”

I know I have the promise of holding you forever.
And I know my struggle will finally be over
when God places you in my arms,
And me into yours,
never to be separated again.
And only then, my child, when I rest in peace,
will I finally rest in peace.

Who Knew (to Sam)

ImageWho knew today
that yesterday
would be our last?
Who knew yesterday
that today I would
hold you no more,
come home to
you no more.
comfort you
no more?

Who knew
and why didn’t
they tell me?

I would have held
you tighter, and
stayed with you longer.
I would have
done a thousand
things differently,
and I would
have never
let you go.

Gone Before I’m Gone

(for Hailey Owens)
Last seconds can
wreck your mind
break the strong and
destroy the weak.
Angry words spoken,
love rushed and often
forgotten in the split
seconds of what
nobody knows
will be the last.
Imagined cries
and agonies of
the injured,
torment the living,
but I tell you this,
cause I heard it
spoken to me
plainly from those
gone by, “God took me
long before my reckoning,
and Angels held me while
you kissed me goodnight,
and my last memories were
of sunshine and delight,
cause I was already gone
standing right before your eyes
and while still in your arms.
So cry if you must
because I’m gone,
but rest in peace knowing,
God took me long before
I was already gone.”

The Price Paid

For just a moment, sit with me,

look at me, listen to what I say,
don’t let a photo capture
your body language screaming,
“I gotta get away.”

I’ve gone over and over,
again and again,
can’t figure out what it is
you’re running from
or when it began.

I don’t understand your choices,
can’t see how you could
choose anything but us.

I’ve been to crazy places in my mind
wondering night after night,
time after time, how anyone
could be everything you
failed to find in me.

I think I must stand for every price paid in your life.
What was a beginning for me,
was your last breath to survive.
I was good to you; a good friend, mother and wife.
But God help me. God forgive me. God spare my children this…

I just can’t be the death of everything you’ve missed.