Today I carried

the heaviest thing

a mother is ever

asked to carry—

 

Down the aisle

of the longest

path I’ve ever

been asked to walk—

 

From the back

to the front

of the church

where we sang songs of praise

together just days before,

you sitting snugly on my lap.

 

My steps like old

woman shuffles—

aged 100 years in a day—

unsteady and painstakingly

s l o w—

My tears trailed

like a leaky faucet

that will never

be fixed,

a freshly flooded

river of grief and love,

my wailing a new

book of psalms,

as I carried you

in the very over-priced box,

that forever holds

the remains of

your perfect

little-man body,

in your blue

and green footed

dinosaur pajamas.

 

I pressed my hand

firmly onto the

outside of the box,

lingering

lingering

lingering—

 

as if I pressed hard

enough I’d touch your

warm baby-soft skin again,

as if I waited long enough

you’d jump out alive

like a jack-in-the-box,

grab my lingering hand,

and shake me awake from

this wretched nightmare—

 

As if I hobbled slowly enough,

you’d clasp my open hand tightly

on the outside

of that morbid box that held you today,

where just yesterday

my arms held you softly with love—

 

Today I carried

the heaviest thing

a mother is ever

asked to carry—

 

Down the aisle

of the longest

path I’ve ever

been asked to walk—

 

From the back

to the front

of the church,

and with a primal sound

that defied all words,

I placed you,

along with my own

decomposing remains,

forever at the altar,

forever to be buried,

five feet underground.

2 thoughts on “I Liked the Other Boxes You Played in Better”

  1. I wish I could put my emotions into words as well as you. Your words, sadly, comfort me. We aren’t alone. We may feel it, but for a moment, reading your words, holding your book, I don’t feel so alone.. ((hugs)) Thank you for you being you and holding our hands and hearts.

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