Glistening Snow reflecting sun's prisms in tree shadows in winter, rose bush with brown leaves of winter in foreground, my forever son
Glistening Snow in Tree Shadows, My Forever Son

A Poem About Losing a Child

Where to From Here When Now I Cannot Be?

Ripped here from centre where body birthed son, 
Where son birthed the all of who now I am.

How now to be and where must I go?
When between stars and here I hear your constant echo?
How now to let go what life cannot undo?
How now to hold pain where flesh once cradled you?

A long time ago. 
A story, remembered. 
A story without ending, or so I pretend. 
A story with chapters wanting, begging written, 
-or so-if only you had stayed past life’s reckless discontent

I live instead this absence of you. 
Breathing, sometimes, and not breathing 
when in this, your month, day, and birth 
circle round again earth.

Numbers I did not wish to know inscribed now in bronze
Years fleeing what mattered so that now, flatlined, 
Wonder if even I mattered, a mother once now in time.

Without you, I cannot be, and yet must be, 
because here I am being something to someone, 
yet without solace or distinction save 
Knowing only the pain loves leaves  

All these leaflets of my life hinged
To yours, yet nowhere to be found-you.

I wait here, not breathing, hoping, 
no consciousness of thought, just not really wanting 
to be here at all. That way you must have felt
the night the stars fell from your sky.

Still the moon screams. Still here fall the tears.
Still must I straddle stars, moon, and earth.
Still pound I your heart beating sound against mine.

Still love, mine and yours, holding hearts across time
between here, now, and there where 
stolen by a star, you reach still yet to me.
I wait here, not breathing, 
hoping, no consciousness of thought, 
just not really wanting to be here at all. 
Earth to sky to moon blue and yearning for you. 
Where to from here when now I cannot be? 

©Beth Brown, 2022

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