Parting Wounds by Helen Losse
Sometimes looking back,
we see details we missed:
monsters swim in a glass of water
that sits on the table between us. Yes,
several jealous demons we should have
beaten until dead appear in sweet tea.
Our parting—an incident both tragic
and inevitable—is due only in part
to cruel and tragic words I can never
un-speak. There were hints I should have
heeded, sheets we should have stripped
from the bed, laundered and aired
in the sweet southern breeze
months ago. Through life’s changes—
health, power, and inevitable loss
of our mothers’ unique wisdoms—
two southern women have become,
perhaps, too tired to overcome pain
that stands where they once danced
in sisterhood, sweater-clad.
Some days turn out better than others.
Some days I utter words I should never
have spoken. Some days a hurricane
smashes the land.
My mother died in March, you know,
but I learned from FaceBook
we were undone. Our parting wounds
became a second death, a second need
for freedom to grieve. Yes, time provides
space between events; it guarantees us
nothing more. But looking forward
instead of back, I still choose to love you.