Shadowing Life

"The wound is the place where the Light enters you." - Rumi

“There is a light you can't always see. There is a world we can't always be. There is a dark within and without. And there is a light. Don't let it go out.” - U2, “Song For Someone”

Shadowing Life
(a poem for Mickey)

I.
You slipped like cooling taffy
hardened here, cracking there,
from the body that gave me life;
withdrawing like the tide from
your commitment to muscles and bones
until all that struggled on - determinedly on -
were your heart and mind,
calling across the separation, “I love you.”

II.
The silence, when it came,
was wool-thick and still,
the long-established call
dropped permanently from the airwaves.
My ears ache with remembered words,
pet names that bloomed with affection,
opening our conversations like poppies
unfolding to sun.

III.
No one will ever say
my name as you did.
No one will remember my newborn face,
wrinkled with worried wonder,
before the cord was cut,
before our fractured journey began
and took us away
then back again.

IV.
My eyes, my ears, my nerve ends,
tingling with phantom pain,
are useless here.
Here in the waking half-light,
the pause between words, the body’s demands,
where lines dissolve
and I can almost feel your smile
brushing my cheek.

V.
Please tell me you’re laughing
at all the pain and fuss,
dancing between the stars you loved
as your comet tail of lessons,
a parting salute to life,
burns out across the night sky
dusting Earth, and my parched and aching cells,
with Light. - Jena


There are many stories I’d like to share about my mom, whom everyone called Mickey. But on this - the second anniversary of her passing - writing this poem is the best I can do. It ambushed me as I was getting up this morning after a long night of thunderstorms that left me feeling groggy and out of sorts. Maybe that’s why the veil between our worlds feels so thin today.

With Love,
Jena

P.S. The song I chose for this post is U2’s “Song for Someone.” I trust you will understand why and share your own stories and songs about those you’ve loved and lost.

Copyright 2021 by Jena Ball. All Rights Reserved.