#NewThisDay Writing From My Photo Stream
So sunny in the morning woods, to wake me up. There is only a thin layer of ice on the brook that won’t hold any weight. We walk for a long time in the cold, happy, feeling refreshed and relaxed, anticipating a quiet day, and most of the clean up is already done. The house is startlingly quiet in the absence of all the children. We are free to do as we please, so my husband and I go for a late afternoon movie, as we often do after Christmas. It’s a drama, Ben is Back. It’s a family drama of addiction, and it’s really well done and emotionally honest and raw and I never cry in movies, I just don’t, but I did, and then for quite a bit afterwards. None of my children is a heroin addict. I have friends who have lost children to this disease. These are private hells of ferocious powerlessness. My three adult children are whole and happy and present and I am lucky. Not being able to help a troubled child, a child who is sick or unreachable for any reason, it’s a parent’s worst hell. Sometimes parents just have to face and accept they’ve tried everything and keep failing, and what they need and cannot control is the possibility of grace. Two minutes before the movie ended, while I was bawling, I got a text out of the blue from my middle daughter. Just: “love ya mom.”
What Breaks the Moon
At two she believes in a moon made of
glass, and sees every night how it’s lit
just for her. She swears if we give her the moon
she will hold and not break it. At two, she’s a moon
made of glass and we swear we will hold and not
break her. For so many moons there is holding, not breaking.
There is moonlight, not madness, in our home before twelve,
when she suddenly wishes to break us. Some madness makes her
want to elude us. Some wildness teaches her how.
On moonless nights - her shape shifting and flying –
she roars into moods that keep churning and blasting
with the force of storms we never see coming.
What madness makes us act and keep acting as if
we can hold her and keep her from breaking?
This is how we let the moon make such a mess.
There is no letting go when there’s only surrender.
We seek help and find them, and we wonder, while
leaving her there, what is possible, at fourteen to repair?
We have no right to ask for the moon – but we do.
They promise us nothing. They promise her limits.
She swears she will break them. She kicks and she curses
but they keep her and hold her and they’re not made of glass.
What I wonder is who lights the moon, for whom and why us?
All I know is she wants, at sixteen, to come home, and sweep us
into the shape of a moon.
©Kelly DuMar 2014. First published in 2014 in The Milo Review. Published in All These Cures.