When Dreams Shatter

June 8, 2019

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

same time.


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. 

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