Friday, May 6, 2011

empty space unedited

when you died it left an archetypal space
of mommy
and i cannot keep weeping and reaching inside of it
trying to find some remnants of that feeling
i got when you smiled and the world spread out a field of golden lilies
like a wedding dress of thinnest mesh and jeweled petals
when you said , "i love you passionately"
when you held me against you
before you were so small and brittle
i was afraid even my light form might crush you

no i can't reach you
but i can step into that space
catching spiders and changing diapers and tending blemishes and making sandwiches
for my children and now, suddenly, other people's grown children
i'm too busy and overwhelmed with bills and stories and reading students' papers
and telling them their strengths
to bother with my girlish scars and sense of diminshment

this is how we grow up
after loss and loss and loss
and then the greatest one of all
that feels like being buried in that dirt and wood
and ends up being us becoming that which we cannot live without


  1. it's sadly beautiful, in it's stark reality, (sigh).

  2. francesca this poem brims with such incredible wisdom and beauty. this is an interesting idea to reflect upon, and i hope it will help me to cherish my own mother

  3. It is so much easier to write about (and think about) the love we have for our children, which is all-consuming. But harder to write about the (often conflicted) love we have for our parents, and how while they are raising us and we are growing away from them we become caregivers in our own right.