There are ghosts all around me.
Wings of angels flutter against my skin-
tissue paper butterflies reminding me you are still here.
A salty wave of joy washes over me
melting dream to reality.
I cringe at the familiar prick of pain,
bleeding watercolors, jagged lines.
Suddenly I’m aware of the helpless gesture of my hand
cradling my belly,
uneasy home of both womb and tomb.
Desperate, I search for signs of your footprints around me,
and my eyes fall on the subtle sway
of an empty rocking chair on the porch.
I lift my eyes yearning for clues in the shapes of clouds
but a shrill birdcall shatters the moment,
seizes my heart strings
and cinches it closed.
With a gasp, all the world draws tight,
crystalized in an unspoken scream-
“I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you!”
and then dissolves…
With a cough you left me, so tiny and unprepared. I would have held my breath if I had known! Clenched my jaw, squeezed tight and locked down the door to the unwanted future of an abandoned mother.
You were sneaky not to tell me. Forcing me back to life. But sometimes I feel it is I who died. That your visits are to me in some unreal time. Somewhere you are growing up and wondering who your mother was. Maybe you see the empty rocker move and muse whether I am still with you…and write a poem to me, your guardian angel.