Posts Tagged ‘son’

TKO

Posted: April 17, 2011 in My Poetry
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Caught mid-punch,
as fist met face.

like an alabaster
carving.

Every muscle,
pronounced:
textbook
illustration.

Months of work,
pay off.

The color
of grape Kool-Aid;
purple with swirling blue.

Umbilical cord tight
around his neck,
he strangled
with every contraction.

Heart rate dropped
so perilously low,
a pediatrician was called
to be on hand…
Just-In-Case.

Pushing then swoosh
there he was,
my blue baby.

They removed
the cord from his neck,
and handed him to his father.
I stroked his face;
the same color as my nail polish.

Suction of fluid from lungs
then oxygen followed
until he grew pinker,
more human.
Still, a bloody little thing
always held by someone else.

I felt no sense of attachment.
Just crushing weight of responsibility;
knowing he was mine
completely,
at for least 18 years.

I didn’t want to get too close,
terrified by my year-old nephew’s
repeated clinical deaths.
I spent the night awake,
trying to devise ways
to make a break for it –
despite the pain.

Morning came
I was still there,
unable to figure out
how to flee into the darkness;
leave him to his father,
my mother…anyone
but me.

Then,
around the corner;
a clear acrylic bin.
I looked in –
my fatal error.
I never looked back again.

He was mine.
My child.
The one I’d waited for.
I loved his little turtle face,
strange mewling sounds,
his smell.

Through the years,
there were problems.
Bad lungs kept me afraid
that I’d lose
the only thing that mattered.

A sweet child,
beautiful, charming.
He always had that gift.

Then pre-teen,
cocky, sullen
but sometimes mine
again, at night.
I would read to him
or sing
and he would forget
that he was not a mama’s boy;
nestle into the crook of my arm.

Teenage years
spent learning how
to kill with his bare hands:
martial arts
obsessed.

Now he’s an adult.
I look back
on years
that went too fast.

All the changes
all the chances
I had to make a difference.
I messed up
most of them.

He has no need,
now, for a mother.
He wants me far away.
He’s just a cold stranger
but I love him, anyway.

If you were to ask me
what he wanted
where he lived,
or how he felt,
I could give you general answers,
gleaned from other sources.

My own son
is as alien to me
as any stranger on the street.

Looking at his baby books,
I pause at this page,
and that. Remember favorite pastimes.
They’re all past time, now.

All I have is memory
of the son I brought to earth.
Cherished as well as I was able
then let go, at his request.

People say
he loves me.
But I know it isn’t true.
He wants me to disappear
as much as I want to.

Embarrassed
by me; my scars,
my insanity;
by that fact that I exist

I am embarrassed too,
for loving him as much as I do
when I’m simply a source
of shame for him,
my former Little Boy Blue.

There would be no son
who shines for me,
like the noonday sun.

There would be no dogs
to love me.
Two would probably be dead.
Victims of a failed system
and overpopulation.

There would be no love;
that love I cherish
because it took so long
to bear fruit.

No lifting of my hair
in passing
to kiss
the back of my neck.

No one to come home to.
Just a bitter, lonely man.
Betrayed by love,
heart split in two
by the one he trusted
before me.

Not the loving man
who takes the day off
to care for me –
brings me soup
because I’m sick.

Without me,
the world would be fine.
I would not.

I would look through
the dark glass
of what might have been,
wipe away tears
of lost years
of joy, of sorrow.

All that makes us
human.

4-3-2011

25 years ago,
my sister gave birth
through her skin;
her 3rd cesarean.

I captured the moment
with a failed flash;
emerging head illuminated
by surgical lights
otherworldly glow –
The door to Heaven,
briefly opened.

I held him first, cradled
his small, still bloody body
mere seconds before
reluctantly releasing him
to his father.

We walked to the nursery
together while they sutured
the gaping wound
through which he arrived.

Last year, I repeated the act of
returning him to his Father.

More painful this time,
because I know
he won’t be coming back.

I am practicing heartache,
learning to let go gracefully,
without tears or whimpers.

Each time I let go,
I am learning the way
to loosen my grip on what
was never really mine.

To say,
not goodbye,
but later.

The things I have
I hold closer.
They too
will leave me someday.

I am learning
how to hold on.

I am learning
how to let go.

4-1-11

Ty and Dayne

14 months too little,
like a younger brother;
always hoping
to catch up
but, this year,
you will.

Grief floats out
on every exhale
as you try to un-speak
that yearly wish –

To eat
the evidence
like cold hard dirt
covering your cousin;
bring him back to life.

“I’m sorry”
isn’t a magic spell.
Your childhood wish
didn’t kill him.
He chose that fate,
himself.

You will be older,
he will be dead.
And nothing on earth
can change that.

I may not be that great,
but the cat likes my lap
and my dog follows
wherever I go.

I am the favorite aunt
to all my nieces and nephews,
and my son is a great kid
who loves me.

I may not be that great
but I am enough.
Opinions of small lives
matter most –
It’s through the helpless
that God’s light shines,
and it shines on me every day.

I may not be that great,
without a real job.
I may never be wealthy,
but I am rich in what matters.

I count to several someones
who all count to me.

Written in 2004

Ty n Karlee

I see the world
with dog’s eyes
now.

It’s all
shades
of grey.

I can’t see you.
I see around –
strange shimmers
in the shadows.

The baby waves
and says “Hi Ty”
but you’re invisible
to me.

Hidden
from my dry gaze;
faithful as a dog’s.

I don’t cry anymore.
It doesn’t bring color
to my world
or wash away the black;

just makes my face
wet canvas
for someone else’s
paint.

Fireworks . Pictures, Images and Photos

Brilliant flash;
a purple nebula,
quickly blurs to white,

traced on the sky
like a spider’s web.

Color races over wet ground,
receding just as quickly,
bright lights fade away.
Ebb and flow of a neon wave,
exploding at our feet.

There is peace, despite the booms,
despite the smell of smoke.
Perhaps derived from memories:
childish delight in bright colors,
new smells, cool grass.

Explosions rocket across the sky
spiraling up in plumes of smoke.
I sit barefoot on the cement stairs,
arm around my son.

He deserves this memory:
A sky colored with lights like a present
and a warm arm around his waist.

(1998)

 

We arrive at the mortuary,
to find you clothed only
in a human-shaped
plastic bag
which we’re commanded
not to remove.
Duct taped at the neck,
wrists and ankles –
Fluid leakage might occur,
and disturb the guests
at that last party in your honor,
you were rude enough
not to attend.

Staples
hold you together,
like suitcase zippers
going down your chest
and the insides of both legs.
The benefits of being an organ donor.
They assured us
it was almost unnoticeable.
I suppose they didn’t realize
we would dress you
for this occasion;
considered their lie thoughtful.
Maybe they didn’t care –
Just wanted whatever organs
you could provide;
after all, that’s what they do.

Rusty stains cloak
much of your skin,
hospital strength disinfectant.
Did they worry that you
might become infected?
Use proper surgical procedure,
despite the toe-tag
telling them that you
were just a shell.

We discovered quickly,
in trying to dress you
for your final show,
that you were like a Ken doll:
stiff and hardly malleable.
Still, your corpse was dressed,
with the most loving care.
Though your limbs
felt like rubber over concrete,
and hardly bent at all.

Your hands, scarred
from lighter burns and cuts
are like tightly packed,
Halloween gloves, spray painted
a subtly shiny flesh color.
I suppose they meant you
to look more respectable.
We loved you like you were.
They are not your hands:
those thin, eloquent story tellers –
They belong to someone else.

Finally your hair is done,
cologne on, tie cleverly
knotted in such a way
as to prevent voyeurs
from trying to see
the deep dent in your neck.

You are handsome,
as always;
stylish and lifelike…
except for your lips.
They’re flesh colored
not living red;
you had very
colorful lips for a man.
Mortician’s mistake
we’re afraid to fix.
We don’t want you
to look like a clown
so we forgo the temptation
of lipstick, but at the viewing,
it bothers everyone
who knew you:

the real you.
Not that empty shell
with nobody inside.

In the white bellow
I see him
wrapped tight around our son,
swaying to the dance
of dark raindrops.
Lightning gouges;
ice-pick sharp
and night
sucks into the wound.

After spilling gutters clear
and beaten trees drop leaves
he climbs in beside me, his cold
bristles against my legs;
the baby, a warm comma between us.
The only wind now
is the sound of our breathing
and I sink, like a stone, into sleep.