Saturday, March 26, 2016

Retrieve Lament: from me, the mother

Pietà - Anto Carte

I can't imagine being your mother
-- or maybe I can.
The day she cradled your dead body, 
how much of her suffering was about you? 
How much was about her?

I've given life to four people
All still alive (thanks be to God),
but I grieve anyway.

For a mother, grief
comes easy. 
As does the following:



Sometimes love feels fierce as hate-
mingling down in howling tears. 
It's hard to tell the difference
Am I crying for my kid?
Am I crying for myself?

Which makes me wonder
What your mother felt the day she cradled 
your dead body?

One time (or maybe a million)
I cried all night because I couldn't
remember if I'd ever done anything right
for my kid. I thought 
the homemade play-dough was a good idea, and 
the library trips.  Maybe that wasn't

One time (just the other day)
I cried all night
because I was so damn mad
at my kid. The one I love more
than life itself. The one
-- given enough Pinot --
I could just as easily slap
upside the head.

Four times I writhed and moaned
and screamed and hollered
and bled and cussed
until - hallelujah -
it was finished.

Four times I cooed and cried
and prophesied, shouting
over the tiny screaming face:
This is my kid -
do whatever he tells you to do.

Four seconds of transcendance - 
even while my body turned inside
out, split in two, stretched 
beyond recognition.

Four perfect seconds of euphoria - 
after that, things begin to fall apart.

Did your mother think, I would 
die for you? 

Did she think, 
You wear me out. Or, 
this is all your father's fault.

I only ask because I've thought all 
those things.  If it's ok
for the mother of God,
maybe I'm not so bad.

Maybe there's hope for us yet.

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