(Credit to Siddhartha Mukherjee for the title)
Face to face on our high-tech phones
I offer my son the only comfort I can - - looking on him, and listening.
I absorb his words of courage, while he faces the wretched misery
Of yet another battle with the raven emperor.
Seeing him thus, on an evening with the moon waxing gibbous,
The same day the chemical liquid weapon was delivered to the cancer,
Poisoning in concert every healthy cell in his body,
My mind and body feel mangled and diseased in maternal sympathy.
I know he sees in me the needed fortitude
Coupled with immense love and compassion,
A strength that can always be summoned in pure form,
Holding that necessary pose center-stage, front.
I keep my oceanic grief suspended
And waiting in the wings, behind heavy curtains
Where I will retreat later, unattended.
Feeling helpless to make a difference, I turn inward,
Gradually sinking into the muck and grip
Of fear, depression and exhaustion.
I consider again the phases of the moon,
Our ancient, single-pearled necklace adorning a fragile planet,
Remembering that soon - - on the day of the next full moon
My son will move into a new home.
I hold on tenuously to this occasion
As a symbolic full moon for him - -
The welcoming house discovered not long before
The third grim appearance of his life’s worst nightmare.
May this bright orb bring strength to him and to me,
To the rest of his family, to his cornucopia of friends - -
To all of us who treasure him.
May earth’s glowing necklace shine on his life
With countless anniversaries,
Until old, old age finds him in ripe contentment.
HSB has facilitated the “Healing Through Poetry” group for more than 10 years.
To learn more about how to register for our upcoming grief support and community education groups, such as “Healing Through Poetry,” please contact the intake coordinator at (805) 563-8820 ext. 110. No poetry or writing experience necessary.
All groups are free of charge and donations are gratefully accepted. Please note: space is limited and groups are subject to cancellation based on low registration. Registration must be completed with HSB prior to group participation. No drop-ins please.