Thursday, October 9, 2008

survivable loss

no small divorce, your passing eye
your sweet lip depression or fine clean
smile all gone from me,
gone now for four years and so many
days, gone in the fast forward of
family videos, my children smiling,
laughing, learning to count and
count on.

one by one the clippings have fallen past-
my father, my grandparents, all of them,
and my sister now,vague in limbo,
cast to charcoal sketchings
that blur when the eye focuses in.

i am cast in the shadows for you, sadly
meshed with the prick memories of your terrors
and they were mine, too, but i was there,
witness, and possibly the way my hair falls
or the octave of my voice brings you back there in a way
that just can't be survived.

this is what he took along, in his ever growing bag
of horrors: children, innocence, laughter, trust,
and the good root structure between sisters,
yanked upwards and slit at the throat,
if roots had throats,
and we did.

ours did.

i think of you when she smiles or he shrugs,
i think of you when the predictable reminders
tap, but more, i feel your absence in an unsteady
gait or reaching out that has no body to reach
towards, then i pause strangely and recall
my sister, feel downwards in a compulsive check
for roots gone four years now, and so many

it's a survivable loss. not a death. not a
fatal illness. a mysterious foreboding, it is
the prickle on the back of my neck, the shadows
that hang in the clouds and blink like wide eyes,
the howling of dogs at night, it is a long time
waiting, it is a slow growing doubt, it is a poison
that i drank the day you left.

it spills through my veins and drips out the loose
end roots that dangle harmlessly, drip drip dripping
out into my heart and swelling the damaged thing,
pressing against the rib cage and causing a strange
cut of pain, a sharp stab, a vomit, the occasional
crying jag.

i move forward as i should,
without you.

Maggie M.E.
steenky bee said...

This is beautiful. I have no words. Your writing is just beautiful.

Annie said...

"Survivable Loss" is beautifully written and authentic. It reads like a journal entry and a finished poem, all at once- loving, intense, gentle, melancholy, all at once. Again, you have a unique voice. I assume the poem is autobiography. I identify with your emotions. In a totally different situation, I was cut off from family for many years. So much love, and so much pain, the ache of loss. We grieve for everyone, not just ourselves, and we survive.

Maggie May said...

thank you jen, so much.

annie yes it's autobiographical, about my one sibling, my baby sister. our father was a monster to us, and the details are hers, but he took more than he ever knew. i love the last line of what you wrote to me, annie, 'We grieve....and we survive'

hi, it's me! melissa c said...

Very cool.

Hey in answer to your question about foster care, we just started going to the required training. We felt like we were supposed to in the grand scheme of things.

I said I'd only take babies and that's what I got. When we got Gabe, I really tried to help his mom get him back because they said they were going for reunification. She did get him back but couldn't handle it on her own, alone and working nights. She asked us to adopt him, knowing we could give him a good home.

Later, she married but problem after problem. Long story short, she had two more babies, couldn't stay clean, went to jail. Her ex-husband adopted one and we got Wyatt. He was a premie in the hospital at the time. She was very relieved that we said we'd take him. I knew from the beginning that Wyatt would be mine.

I've continues to remain friends with her. I think it is important for not only her but the boys. They will want to know where they come from someday. There are also 2 girls who were adopted out. They are 8 and 5. It's very sad. I would have taken them if I could. I tried to but their foster home wanted to keep them.

There you have it. In nut shell!

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