With an Open Fist (poem reworked)

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
nowhere

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
after midnight
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.

Your very fine hat (poem)

This was the extent of our back to school shopping last week:
new sneakers and the hat.
Honestly, that sums things up over here.
We just don’t have room for much else that is new.

Uncle (my oldest brother) has moved out,
after living with, and loving on us
for almost five full on years.
He’s not gone too far but he’s not that near.

We’ve been preparing for this dreaded-
exciting transition for several months.
Celebrating all that is Uncle in one hand,
and grieving all that is his leaving in the other.

But rage doesn’t RVSP to an invitation.
It just crashes the party
whenever he needs to remind the world
that he is both the pinata, and the bat.

Swinging blindfolded into the unknown
like an infant wailing for his mother,
wrapped in a blanket of confusion and fear
hush hush hushed into a stranger’s promising arms.

Eight years later, and a very quiet part of you
may still remember her soft hands caressing your very small head
and for a moment maybe you are still able to hold her hand there,
woven in the flair and the tilt of your very fine hat.

C 2012 Mama C and the Boys

Rage

Two women sit on a couch, visiting and eating their sandwiches from home-a lunch time reconnect. Within minutes, they gravitate to talking about their amazing, growing, and capable children, who they each know well, from birth.  Give or take a week or two.  T-ball swings, reading mastery, potty training success, and verbal acquisition -feed their longing for news and celebration. Motherhood becomes their friendship well. Continue reading “Rage”