Monday, January 10, 2011

Another Mother's Arms Are Empty

This poem is going to be in my book, 365DaysXTen, a poetry book of mine about the ten year journey of healing after my daughter's death.

January 8th, 2011

I lay back in the dentist chair anticipating
ordinary pain- a news reporter said
a nine year old girl passed, she was shot
point blank. A

life cut short
by a twenty two year old
gunman. A special birth
for the world 

born on September 11th,
2001. Does a life have meaning
before or after death
when it happens just after the New Year

begins? The first world tragedy.
Maybe one day, her mother, a fellow life
giver, will stand on the opposite
side of a window

with her hand raised up
to mine. Glass separating
our fingers, our states,
reasons not the same

as we feel the pain
of loss rushing through
our blood, as we struggle
to see deaths purpose.

For Anelisa, Christina, and all the other children taken away from a mother’s arms…

I was about to get my teeth clean when the news program up on my dentist's television was showing the interview with the Green's. As they spoke my own wounds opened up, and I asked the girl to turn it off. Tears began to flow, not for myself, but for the parents. How they would have to begin the journey I had ten years ago when Anelisa passed. Once you lose a child, to a bullet, an earthquake, drowning, or heart disease like mine did, you feel all of their pain. The wounds open up and you want to reach out and hug them.

I saw myself on the opposite side of a window reaching up to place my hand on her hand, Mrs. Green, and we became two mother's strong.

I wish them peace, though the walk will not be easy. Pain will resurface and resurface, over and over again, but you find your way back. Just today I felt my Ane sitting beside me on the bed, maybe to hug me as I began to cry. I miss her, as I am sure Mrs. Green longs to hold her Christina.

Elizabeth Stelling


Jessie Carty said...

This is such a moving sentiment that I pause about giving any editing suggestions...

but, because I know how much you want to put this in a collection, the editor in me speaks up (all out of love as you know!)

Slow the poem down a little.

I'd say instead of the skinny single stanza, consider longer lines but couplets or more white space. Because the pain is a slow slow process as you well know.

Great work E

Chef E said...

Jessie- this is a rough draft, I felt kind of rushed since Ginny wanted to send it on to the family, so yes I agree, it needs to slow down! Thanks!

Jim K. said...

I'll second Jessie on that..
this one has more narrative flow and feeling than riffs, so wide would be better. And...yeah, not
much else for edits.(!)

Toon said...

Powerful and tragic. Well done, but I don't feel good that I read it.

Pearl said...

sorry to hear about how that loss keeps echoing.

don't know why dentists run such trigger and pain material on tv when there's vapid talk shows about. any psychological threat would increase physical pain in the chair as well.

Debbie said...

Here to read and catch up with you . . .and now want to hug you and cry with you. It takes a special poet to write like that when it's so close to your heart. Thank you. When I read this, when I read the hard things that poets share, I feel privileged. God bless you, dear beautiful E and give you love for me.