Grandmother’s Death

Hard hands already?
She won’t even die for three more hours.
I know you can’t hear me, but I love you.
Is it too late to say I’m sorry?
After 12 months of silence, here I am, talking, but you’re quiet, still
Most of you already leaked out and filling the room
I wish I could grab the air, thick with your dying,
And push it back in your body –┬áthe now quickly emptying shell.
Mimi?
Do you remember when I was born? And what was it like before me?
I can’t help but expect that the two states of non-existence – the one before and the one after – should be frighteningly similar. Simply not here.
There you go!
Wait! I forgot to tell you I’m pregnant!
I hope somehow you know.
I hope you see Jesus before the light leaks away forever:
That’s what you always wanted.
And it doesn’t matter who’s right and who’s wrong.
The Christian, the atheist, there’s no more fighting here.
I just came to say goodbye, to forgive you, to let you know it’s okay to go.
I will look for you in my child’s face and give her a mother’s love like you never knew.
It just may make all the difference for the in-between time.
So much I can never say, so much you will never hear.
I’ll hold your hand and cry.
It comforts me to remember:
We are the life you leave behind.

2004

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