Sunday, October 31, 2010

You are my "Good Glue," sweet five.

"All you fear is here,"
came crackling over the radio. 
I shivered at the ad
for a haunted house
that was guaranteed
to scare you senseless.

Hearing promises of
ghastly ghouls and
guts and gore,
made my own
blood boil
once upon a time.

Five years ago,
plus two days,
I would have
heard those ads
and shrugged,
feeling that youthful
sureness that my
baby would
be born by then.

I refused invitations to go on haunted hayrides,
and laughed to myself when fatigue intercepted
my plans to sew a costume that made me a pod--
and her a pea. I'd just drink cider instead.

Four years ago,
each intimation of Fall
brought me to hysteria's brink.
Rushing, alone, weeping
out of rooms
and hastily
off of phone calls.

I refused invitations to Halloween parties. 
Fuck you for inviting me.  Put that in your
fucking prop pipe and smoke it.
Hope it burns going down.

Three years ago,
we skipped trick or treating.
We stayed in
with the new baby
and left the door ajar. 
We shivered on the
couch and I cried
when we had
very few visitors.

We went to the cemetery that year, taking a pumpkin
I'd decorated with permanent marker. Your sister licked it,
and I cussed and cried and broke heirlooms as
I drew your angel wings--and all the way there.

Two years ago,
I begged you
to come back to me.
Pregnant with your
littlest sister,
I longed for the family
I'd carried this
great distance.

Again, we stayed in on Halloween night.
A handful of ghosts came by, but not one of them was you.
I probably made pizza and put the middling girl to bed early,
and ignored my phone--eye rolls and polite thank yous to friends' futile good wishes.

One year ago,
I still wept and
imagined you might
come home.  I
might find you somewhere,
and fit you snugly into
our family of five--
minus one.

We finally braved the suburban streets, and your sister hollered,
Happy Halloween, to every friendly face.  And I even smiled,
while I carried our newish baby in the pack.  Later we sorted candy
and scrubbed faces clean of green paint, and laughed at our exhaustion.

This year,
I have dreams we might
accidentally adopt you.
But those are few
and far between.
It is harder to conjure
up those scenarios.
I smile daily,
and even today,
I can count the tears
on one hand.
I don't recognize
the woman who
1825 days ago
to this minute
was dosed with
narcotics and sleep aids,
trembling against
the nightmares
and hitting her
own aching head
in a hospital bed
on the most remote floor. 
The woman who
quit her job
and planned to
hang in the basement.
She is just an old
sad friend of mine.
Somehow, these five years
have aged me fifty.
They might have
anyway, how
should I know?
But I only know they have.
I am wiser now
in these things.
I don't know beauty
without pain
anymore.  And,
yet, sweet Sophie,
I don't know
a single great pain
without beauty.
When hearts are
broken, I see
good glue.
Thank you,
five years
on forever,
for peace
and wisdom.
I should have
known you
by your name,

1 comment:

  1. All the sorries in the world will never bring her back to you, but I wish they could.

    My heart is broken for you, my friend.

    This is beautiful.