The days when I have my children are long
but the days when I don’t have them are longer
and I would do anything to hear each of them demand
something different from my thinly stretched self at the
Today I know that they are at the beach—
spaces between tiny toes filling with sand,
wet sand, brown sand, white sand, hot sand. Sand.
And their bodies are splashing in water
and they are giggling delightfully. And my heart does know
that they are fine.
My heart knows that they are fine but has to drag her owner’s body
out of bed at 4 p.m. from a black room with no windows
because it’s too hard for her to notice the beauty of the day and the
yearn that pulls her like thorny magnets towards her children
yet cannot hold them. Not today.
When I finally notice the sunlight, I wince at the day’s beauty
and still somehow manage to walk outside
barefooted, in the clothes from yesterday towards the wild mint and
kneel down to smell it. Fragrant, soft, forgiving,
I pull the mint out gently and walk
painfully towards the backyard centerpiece.
Hanging from the oak tree is a white handmade swing, where I sat blissfully with my husband ten years ago.
Mint still bunched into my fist,
I climb atop the swing and sit, remembering the dreams
I dreamt that day. Tears fall instinctually, silently, as I grasp the
prickly rope and attempt to swing.
I feel as though I’m learning to pump for the first time, and
despite knowing how to propel my legs forward and then backwards
until it gains momentum, I am stuck.
I need someone to push me,
But I’m alone.