Today really is symbolic of more than just one loss: it’s a conglomeration of three anniversaries in one. The other two (one in June, one in July) grieve me too — but as they do not fall within Glo/NaPoWriMo they don’t usually get poems written about them. (Though the days of the FoG aren’t the only times poems get written or thoughts get thought about this topic).
Given this month’s theme is love I’ve decided to deliberately include all three griefs in one poem. On the plus side, there are a multiplicity of loves on display within the poem, so it works on many levels.
Today’s poem is paired with one I wrote 28 years ago. It is included as bonus: an Easter egg if you like, not that you have to look too hard to find it.
advice from a fish
although today commemorates the first loss
you’re in countless poems, plays, story ideas all three of you
for endless sorrowfilled years i wore your rings round my neck
till they got too heavy to endure & i was told
by the fish for my own sanity take them off
you knew too well without the self-flagellation of my despair
3 silver rings
around her neck she wears three silver rings on a gold chain & crucifix one, a rose one, a gallic cross & one, all stars & moons
My two wallowversaries are quite close together this year — Good Friday & Easter Sunday. GF being Day 1 of the Festival of Grief, ES Day 2. Each year I don’t know whether I’ll write about my grief on the date it happened or the day. Some years it’s both. The interesting thing about choosing a theme for the month is it makes me approach topics I’ve written about countless times with fresh eyes. Such as this …
to pin a wish
my only-ever astral child my first star girl my free spirit my whispered wish
only briefly tethered postmarked but never delivered addressed but never sent never faded never dimmed always present in my heart
would’ve loved you with my whole soul every ether of being guided you from child to woman as best i
cradled you comforted you held eggshell close gifted free range love love loved
walked you down any aisle — assuming i could see given my eyes are waterfalls simply imagining such moments
the first wish i’d make if any benevolent genie ever give me a chance
my beautiful wondrous astral-only child my heart was torn away the day you ran red down your mother’s legs
30 years ago today, Easter Sunday 1990 (April 15 of that year), my fiancé/soulmate & I experienced the first of three miscarriages of our three and half year relationship. We were kids, both 19.
Back then there was no internet, we didn’t know where to go get support, no easy way of knowing that we were not unique in this. But it happened twice more during the next two & half years. Each time got harder, harder to come back from. Eventually our relationship ended, in no small part due to the stresses & sadnesses of those three losses; although there were other circumstances complicating things too.
I have never fully recovered from the loss; almost daily wonder what different paths my life would have taken had I become a father way back then. It damaged me in ways I didn’t understand for decades. It took almost 25 years to “process” the grief (even though I still feel it) but eventually my alter-ego wrote & staged a 1-woman play which got much of the pain out of me … & enabled me to find a fragile kind of peace. Naturally, I’ve written countless poems about it. & every Na/GloWriPoMo the poem on April 15 or Easter Sunday is bound to explore it in some way. That’s another little gift: the fact that it has two “anniversaries” which have only aligned once in the last 30 years.
Also helping is the fact that a once young person I taught drama to writes about her miscarriages so honestly, lovingly, & beautifully on facebook (that often trite medium). I believe her words are profoundly positive & healing for me, herself, her partner, friends & family, & no doubt many others. I also love how someone I once taught is now teaching me. Thanks, Alice, for giving me the courage to write this post so openly & reinforcing the serenity to know it’s okay on those days when coping doesn’t seem possible.
pandemic for one
this disease : infects & reinfects my mind : repeatedly : over decades : every easter : of course : but christmases too : birthdays : facebook posts : of friends celebrating : first days of school : & 21sts : & weddings : & births of grandkids : & just about anything fucking else : can set it off : a time bomb explosion : of regret : anger : what ifs : why mes : & i wonders :
there is no herd immunity : i am the herd : reinfection is frequent : sometimes more virulent : than ever before : the curve has not flattened : the only cure : a wormhole
in the back of memory
monks monophone softly as fish shivers pianoforte glockenspielling my spine
these tingling goldfish kiss
past present & forever
into one molten lovechant calcium dissolving moment
lift me up-in-to you
a been apart too long
old friend reminder