With an Open Fist
A fist curled tight
a foot stomped harder
three chairs pulled over
and a blankie ripped right down the middle.
It is common she said
for our children to experience rage
on a deeper level
to relive their loss in every loss
it is common she said
for our children to need more
reassurance that we are going
Cannonball after cannonball you launch
into the deep end.
The splashes reach up over the edge
and dissolve over the concrete.
Here at the pool we can scream
and rage, and launch and submerge
and to everyone else it is perfectly normal.
I climb in beside you,
cold and uncomfortable.
Yet certain that you won’t go under
again in this lifetime.
That night you arrive in my room
and crawl into bed
with your eyes closed.
Then you reach
underneath the pillow
in your sleep
to find my hand-
you grab on with a fierce grip
until like the water on the concrete
your uncertainty evaporates.
This poem is one I am revisiting. It originally showed up on the first incarnation of the blog in August, 2009. It is part of a handful that have a “counselor” voice too, as I was getting lots of help at that moment.
It is almost completely different. I sort of love that. Last night the boys and fell asleep in my old bed, having a Mother’s Day extended cuddle. Marcel’s hand, not Sam’s found mine in his sleep and grabbed me. Feeling his fingers slowly open as he fell back asleep brought me back to this poem today.