Friday, July 2, 2010

Enough

My sixteen-year-old boy arrived at the hospital at 6:30
that Saturday morning to sit with me.
He sat between the window and my bed, long fingers
curled around my own IV-taped hand.
And he was beautiful,
his lanky body, bent over my bed, partially
shadowed by the window-framed sun.

He had gotten up so early so he could just sit there
before his track and field meeting at school,
but I couldn’t move my morphine-heavy
eyes and lips to talk to him.
It seemed like I should say so much,
but I could only manage a few I-love-yous and
you-don’t-have-to-stays. But he did.

I kept drifting out and tripping up in my own
bad dreams and staples and tubes. I couldn’t
quite hold myself there with him. I kept wandering,
two nights back, to my mumbling pre-surgery prayers.
And I realized I could have done better.
Instead of my weak now-and-at-the-hour-of-our-deaths
and acts of contritions, I should have just said,

Look Lord, Here Lord, I made this boy.
And that would have been enough.
This week's prompt from Big Tent Poetry asked us to create a conversation poem. I kept thinking of a conversation I couldn't have, and came up with this.

22 comments:

  1. I really like the conversation you didn't have, the love and caring are palpable, and your last lines potent ones. I am glad you took the time to put it down on paper.

    Elizabeth

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  2. What a strong and realiticaly - based poem. And there is no one who could not have done better!http://inthecornerofmyeye.blogspot.com/2010/07/true-tale.html

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  3. Wow, Erin, this is so real, glad it isn't though. xoxo

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  4. If this isn't real, Erin, you had me fooled! It sends its own very powerful message. Wonderful!

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  5. This brought tears to my eyes at the end...
    (oh, to love a son is a wonderful thing!)

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  6. Why are Catholics such good writers?

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  7. Elizabeth--Thank you very much. It's taken me over three years to get this down on paper.

    Mary--wow! Thank you.

    Annie--Thanks. It was real though, a little over three years ago...

    Derrick--Thanks! No foolin'--it was real.

    Twitches--thanks. I'm glad you think so. I figured if I couldn't make the ending work, the whole poem wouldn't work.

    Cynthia--yes! To love a son IS a wonderful tihng, and I'm blessed to have 3 of them to love.

    Rallentanda--Hmmm. I don't know. Perhaps if I were a better Catholic, though, I would be a better writer. Oh, well...

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  8. Now that I've actually read all of the comments...I'm very sorry this was real. You should know, though, that it is also true.The hallmark of a great poem. Thank you for sharing (and yeah, I get the "weak now-at-the-hour-of-our-deaths." I do it too.)

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  9. Erin, I love your writing. This gave me goosebumps.

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  10. ds--thank you. I'm glad it's real AND true. :0)

    Coppertop--thank you very much. I'm a big fan of your writing, too.

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  11. Reveals the difficult to express so well, and that last stanza is fabulous.

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  12. The 14th-century mystic Meister Eckhart said that if the only prayer we prayed in our lives was "Thank you!" it would be enough.

    I love the way you use the fog of post-surgery to come to a similarly succinct prayer: "Here's my contribution to the cosmos. And he is a very good one."

    Beautiful!

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  13. Beautiful. Deep and lovely with touching links to the heart!

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  14. Such a beautiful moment well captured.

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  15. Jeeves--Thank you. I'm glad.

    Deb--Thanks. I had the last stanza first, and worked backwards.

    Paul--I think Eckhart was right. This poem is in its own way a prayer of thanks.

    Tumblewords and Francis--thank you very much!

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  16. Erin-This is a beautiful tribute to your son. And ain't it the truth! Love for children shines from this piece. Well written. I'm glad you're still here!

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  17. Oh, Erin, you have done it again...moved me to tears. And your note to Paul that the poem is a prayer of thanks in its own way? Yes, more tears.

    I am giving you a link to a blog I visited tonight via Di Mackey's blog (in my blogroll) because, well, you just go see and you'll see! I'm linking her last week's poem, which stunned me for the reasons I explained in comments. Born to a Red-Headed Woman

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  18. Lydia--thank you! I visited the blog you recommended and LOVED it. I am now an official follower of "Born to a Red-Headed woman."

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  19. "Look Lord, Here Lord, I made this boy.
    And that would have been enough."

    Stunning.

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