I now know what it feels like to awaken with a lump in my throat
because the date on the calendar is capable of transporting me
to a moment when all that came before was
recast in a mold shaped to accommodate
as much of what would come after as possible.
Reshaped in an instant.
I now know what it feels like to deliberately walk through that date
in a succeeding year, buoyed by alternating proportions of
grief and awe – grief over things that never had a chance to be
and awe at what arrived in their places – still incapable of
understanding how any relates to the other yet wanting to
find a way to make sense of what remains.
Related by what remains.
I now know what it feels like to smile while being afraid to
talk because talking might betray what lies behind the smile
with a crack of voice that triggers the formation of a tear
that does not know if it has been created out of joy or sorrow,
or how joy and sorrow sometimes feel the same.
Held through the fear.
I now know how to hold someone and love so deeply,
with such intent purpose, that each next move – a facial
expression, a hand gesture, a spoken word, an unspoken
thought – might slice open space where light filters through
the firmament upon which souls walk from divinity to reality
and back again with but a breath.
Opened with divine light.
Because of you, my son, I now know what it is like
to have a butterfly land on my shoulder.
© Joy M. Newcom, May 5, 2013