Always the footsteps down the hall
a forewarning mewl of her lover’s call
As the hallway light through the cracked door pours
on the creaking, glossy, wood-planked floors
The name spilling from her lips abhors
Then the quietness in the dark returns
Little lace duvet that has been down-turned
And the sleep comes, graciously, with ease
when it’s done, and he has been appeased
Yet we still hear God’s voice in night’s breeze
She would’ve been five at 9:01 this morning.
It’s sort of funny how we feel disenfranchised upon loss, as though we have been stolen from. Whenever I look back on my life, it comes in chunks or waves. It comes as so many of Sylvia Plath’s figs. It seems I have lived a multitude of lives without earning the right to any of them. Each has been a spectacular and surprising gift. Upon my daughter’s death, I became even more assured and aware of this gift.
I have been the rebellious child, the naive young wife, the poverty-stricken single mother, the lost divorcé, the woman burying her daughter, and now the comparatively wealthy and undeserving middle-class American mail-carrying Christian. So many people in my life have only gotten one or two of those things, and here I stand surrounded by experiences that have been lovingly placed to guide me home. There has been so much tragedy in the name of touching my life. I can’t help but wonder how many other lives are being touched today in this moment of suffering for myself and my beautiful family.
Today, I remember the 8 months, 5 days and 15 minutes that were my life as a mother, and I give praise and gratitude to our heavenly father, who knows just what it means to watch a child die and has bonded us in a union unique to only parents of lost children. Amen.
It was as though I had come to the precipice of a great plateau,
and everything lain before me was our creator.
Almost like hitting a wall,
and the wind is knocked out of you.
Almost like feeling the first kick.
Someone is there.