When Mary talks now on the Fisher-Price phone of loss, she speaks with a five year old’s falsetto. She is breezy, upbeat even, and we exchange pleasantries through the medium of her daughter’s voice.
Mary, the girls have your laugh, I try to tell her before the line cuts off. Mary, I always wanted to be your real mom, I tell her before the line clicks off. Mary, that last day haunts me. The girls talk as though you still have the giant carnival unicorn, as though you tucked it under your arm and carried it right through
The earth will soon dissolve like snow/The sun forebear to shine/But God who called me here below/will be forever mine
Last week I flew to Pittsburgh, got a rental car to Ohio, picked up my adopted granddaughters, and flew home.
Overall they both did remarkably well traveling cross-country with a stranger, but in the Nashville airport Em lost it. She just did not want to go from gate C whatever to gate A whatever, so she wailed and squirmed as I carried her.
By the time we got to A whatever I was reddened and drenched with sweat, utterly convinced that cardio-resistance workouts do not “go with” masking
And she remained in high dudgeon, as Jane Austen would say.
I was genuinely concerned she would not calm down and I would not be allowed to board a plane with a screaming, squirming child and I would be stranded, far from home, with an inconsolable child.
An amazing woman came to my rescue. She bought the girls coloring books, a bottle of water, tic tacs, She talked us through, back to normal and calm enough to board a plane.
I did not ask her name or get her address, but I wish I had
Knowing, as I do, that I could never thank her enough.
Come, girl, let us pause and make sandcastles in the dust where once there were courts of stone, because kings may come to tear down both walls and doors, regard or disregard our little lives, take stones one from another and make each a witness
what door will you keep then, when the one true King has passed us by and taking in his wake all love, leaving us without our voices to praise him or call out? Let stones cry out if we do not
I once did a series of poems called the calvarium poems. I called them that. They remain in a kind of womblike obscurity, you could say the poems were like children
If only an ordinary person like me could
Cast a spell with words
I alternate between believing
That the dry bones are the children tossed away from their mothers, their doctors, their strangers holding signs and vigil across the street from the alien clinics, iron bars on windows, misleading titles, security guards and not enough imminently visible heartbreak over this or
The people, the-all-of-us, too craven to save their little, perfect, amazing