Silence sanctioned with bird’s song.
Sandalwood smoke oscillates snake-like
from altar into air.
Gong resounds, a break! A break!
Stealthily, I check my phone, the screen
displays: Car totalled.
I am ok.
Squealing sounds flash, red, red, head
slams against windshield, burnt rubber smell,
only in my mind’s eye.
My arms flail, groundless. Body
aches to grab you, rock you, as a babe,
protect you from all harm.
Visions of you diving off
the timber tower, your twin brother,
two years old, holds my hand,
your slow motion, headfirst fall,
other mothers’ eyes wide in horror.
you are ok.
Visions, your forehead swollen
as if a melon, eye shut, your twin
brother, ten, holds your hand.
He looks guilty, “She hit rocks.
We were twirling, looking at the stars.”
you are ok.
Visions, the first time you flew,
me alongside. Better I am with
you if the plane goes down.
You laugh, it is easier
than driving a car, no traffic, just
miles of open space.
Senseless this ache to shield you,
my rock-climbing, life-loving daughter,
It’s childish even,
as you are too large to rock,
too spirited to contain, too far
away to hug, to hold.
Tender this ache, not a wound
to heal, but to expose, a tearful
joyful ache, which lets you
go, careening, spiraling,
hurtling into space, like the rocket
you plan, one day, to fly.
My gaze moves upward, outward.
Glazed ceramic blue sky, idle clouds
above the verdant green.
I remember to breathe,
to love this capricious, amusing
perilous, tender world.