Youth takes the higher registry
In cackles, screams, and laughter
Meant to call down parents
And assert strong needs and wants
Because there is no other thing
Than the immediate, the now.
There is no more authentic representation of grief
Than a child who does not realize
Tomorrow is tangible.
In youth I seem to recall
Being able to sing well,
Well enough that even adults would listen.
I like to think it stemmed from my ability
To howl with indignation as a toddler,
Though never with the kind of sheer mad fury as my sister,
Who slipped and ran headlong into a corner,
And became possessed by the furies
At the level of her discomfort.
I can still see her raging eyes,
The little bleeding bruise in her forehead.
In time, the high-pitched sounds fade
As feet become steadier
And minds more sure of themselves.
I would not want to go back to the mad sounds of childhood.
I would, however, happily take back my
Ability to howl out my feelings.
Honesty politely asks I remind you
How often we fought over absolutely nothing.
How I held the needle that brought you pain,
But also made you laugh in the face of the Reaper
Who sat politely by the bedside, waiting.
Love was the undercurrent under our arguments.
We did not live in flowers, we did not bring hearts to each other.
We clashed as Amazons, and snarled like lions.
And when you left, I could not bear the joy of others.
Their sentiments made me wretch.
Their sugar hurt my molars.
Because they denied the truth of love,
Which is it survives and thrives in the blasted furrows
And binds the sharp edges of broken hearts.
Yet in the passing of time, I can take their flowers and hearts
And recognize our truth within them.
How we fought.
How we loved despite it.
Happy Mother’s Day.