Monday, December 8, 2008


note: There's no specific badness going on, this is an old poem. I wasn't feeling a poetry vibe today but I couldn't resist the Monday Mission call for a poetry post; I looked through some of my old poems and this one just sort of spoke to me. So...

I want to understand, but the question is too big.

It's so strange
that the world and everyone
goes on when I feel stopped.
The sky is heavy.
There's a weight on my chest
that has nothing to do with anything
I can touch. My mortality screams
in my ears today, tells me
nothing is forever.

I think I am immune to life,
but I am fooling myself.

I want to put my fist
through a window,
to watch my knuckles bleed,
to feel pain,
to feel something.

I am cold inside.
Even my tears are cold.

I smile, say No, don't worry
about me. I'm fine, but I'm not
fine at all. I feel like throwing up,
like maybe if I empty my stomach
I can get rid of yesterday
and start over.

april 2000

I wrote this the day after I found out my grandpa had an inoperable brain tumor. He died a few weeks later. Thankfully all of his kids and all of his grandkids were able to make the trip from Michigan to Florida to see him before he died. It was an overwhelming whirlwind of sickness, travel, sadness, tears, and death.

Been thinking a lot about mortality lately. We get these emails called Red Messages - after the family is notified (in person, of course), a message is sent to the rest of the unit to let them know when a soldier has been killed. The messages always include the "survivors"...and the Little Mister gets so many extra hugs when there are kids! I worry about the Sergeant, of course, but not as much as many spouses. He never leaves the base, he's relatively safe. My best friend's husband, though...he's being deployed to the Middle East for the third time next month, and he's infantry, so he'll be in danger pretty much every day. No wonder this poem jumped out at me.

But, on the flip side, there is joy. Life. Live it! Live every single day. It's something I need to remember. At the moment I'm drowning in Christmas cards (40 down, 26 to go) and I've been so focused on them the past few days that I've been doing less fun stuff with the Little Mister. We play, but I haven't made an effort to get out paint, or markers or other Messy Stuff (which he loves, of course). So tomorrow (he's in bed now) my goal is to have fun with my son. And if someone's Christmas card is late...well, that's life.


  1. there are certainly days I could have written that poem. I think i wrote similar ones in high school, in fact, only they weren't as good.

    have you done pudding painting with the little mister? I remember you doing that with MQ!

  2. I'm envious of the progress you're making with your Christmas cards.

    And I wish you joy.

  3. Beautiful poem! And do you want to do my cards? Late is no problem...that's what is expected of me already. LOL

  4. This is a great post. Thank you for the beautiful words and the story and the reminder.

  5. Thanks so much for sharing that with us.

  6. What a beautiful poem. I think we have all felt that way at some time and can easily relate to it.

    I can't imagine how stressful it is to constantly worry about your spouse. Again, all I can say is "Thank you" to you and your hubby for your sacrifices for our country.

  7. Yes--that poem resonates with me as well...

    And I've done nothing with my Christmas cards yet--ack!

  8. Beautiful poem. I'm with you I think so much about the survivors, the ones who's hearts just break over and over. And then I go hug the boys over and over.

  9. You have such a good attitude and your priorities figured out.