life, poetry, prosetry

Come up for air

 

When the moving vans took away a life

bundling it in storage, turning out fly swabbed light

when the house stood empty and of us, nothing remained

her death seemed to have resisted claim

yet she was no more there than mouse who leaves behind footprint and soft down of hair, gone beyond the floorboards

her family cleared out and dusted her remains, placed away in a china cabinet for someone

many years from now to produce a much touched pawn ticket, and re-varnish

she wondered

would they thrive without her?

in time, will her children recall the best of her?

or those days she stood tired and grumpy, keeping warm by the oven avoiding world’s bidding and invite

it was her shame

to waste so much time

if she had known she would have stepped from waxen kitchen like fire bird,  gathered them in her arms and driven to the coast

to watch the rise and fall of life crashing on wave

and smell the turn of life, brimming with wet salt

she would have seen within her the burgeoning canker and cast it like a bottle of cobalt blue

out into the surrendering molt of waves,  hoping it would lose itself and not return to erase her, premature and cruel

a reminder we are visitors

to this shore

not long in our stay

often missing our purpose, locked away in effort and grind, mowing lawns, picking up, wiping down, staring out into the immaculate disorder

she would have said to her children, take your shoes off, wriggle your toes in, feel the sand, the undone clasp, the undone movement

into life and laughter and sorrow, creating lines of wonder on our cheeks, run and run until your bird chest burns

scream into the sound

cover yourself with sun and never

ever

come up for air

 

(image from: http://www.saidthegramophone.com/archives/2010_06.php)

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28 thoughts on “Come up for air

  1. You’ve made me wonder if my mom would have, if she could have —

    “staring out into the immaculate disorder

    she would have said to her children, take your shoes off, wriggle your toes in, feel the sand, the undone clasp, the undone movement

    into life and laughter and sorrow, creating lines of wonder on our cheeks, run and run until your bird chest burns

    scream into the sound

    cover yourself with sun and never

    ever

    come up for air”

    Liked by 2 people

      • Or even just foreseen the end of their chance to influence their children as something that might happen sooner than they’d ever imagined. I wonder if the knowledge of an impending end necessarily frees up our expectations of what should be. I guess I’ve never — as a daily philosophy — believed that life is short. There’s an eye-opening thought.

        Thank you, Candice. Time to examine what’s left of my time. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Come up for air | wwwpalfitness

    • thefeatheredsleep says:

      Exactly. Live now. Be present. Don’t put important things off. Easier said than done, but sometimes we think the important things are money and status and they’re more to do with our souls and heart.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. trE says:

    I could quote so many lines, but these are the grit and core of this piece:

    “she wondered

    would they thrive without her?

    in time, will her children recall the best of her?

    or those days she stood tired and grumpy, keeping warm by the oven avoiding world’s bidding and invite

    it was her shame

    to waste so much time

    if she had known she would have stepped from waxen kitchen like fire bird, gathered them in her arms and driven to the coast

    to watch the rise and fall of life crashing on wave”

    I love this one. I do indeed believe it is now added to a list of favorites from you. Sound, solid, and incredible writing. The image is amazing too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I adore this piece…C 🙂 Lovely lovely lovely….can I say lovely again….lovely. I am always amazed by children which live each like the last day….lost in thought…in adventures….time is precious before they march up stares in pouting stomps to go to bed…they want to suck it all ..and everything is new and they want that newness in them …adults truly need to heed that childlike call to arms….

    Liked by 1 person

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