no. 11 : The Death of a Young Mother

What we wish, more than anything, is that she could stay.

But we know she is going, slipping from our hands that do not know how to let her go.
This is a thing we do not want to learn.

This is a lesson we have no choice but to attend.
We have not granted permission.
Have not said, “Yes. Us.”
We were not asked.
We've been told.

And we all, all of us, gather around this one
who is daughter,

That our love now, once a gentle rhythm on the shore,
Becomes a crushing wave.
How do we breathe?
How can we breathe when the water fills our lungs?

I cannot know, for this is the moment in which we stand.

I cannot stand it.
Cannot abide this moment.
Do not want to let it in.

Yet here we are.
And “we” is the gift.
That we stand together.

That together, in the days to come,
We stand.
And the hands we hold are one another's.

And we will not let go.


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