Written by Sarita Hartz
for the ones taken too soon & the mothers left behind
You, our twin stars shining as the moon
the dark sea absorbing you whole
grey ocean spray and rage my closest companions
I would have blistered the soles of my feet
bloody on the rocks
to carry you home
prayers breathed as sung worship
weren’t enough to save you
though I fought as only a mother knows
lashing against the void of my womb.
I knew the moment I lost you.
The ache in my back
nothing to the gape in my soul
you were the last of our chances.
But love risks it all without regret
you, the sparkle beneath my skin,
without you the glow dissolves into despair.
I could not protect you
I could not protect you
I live with that tattooed on my wrists,
nails scraped to skin, a howling.
Grief knows no wailing as a mother
wrestled from the warm cocoon of her child.
I will lay the flowers down on a watery grave
without the imprint of your bodies.
Heaven where you rest, lightyears away from my arms.
I will find you in the space between stars,
constellations burning bright with your names.
Though I cannot name you in baptism.
Your blue hue a galaxy away
close enough to trace the outline of your faces.
The northern sky, a constant remembering,
the dark enfolds, an embrace, even as your light
Somehow, I will survive this, defiant.
I rose above the reclaiming of your brothers,
I made my ascent from clawing fingers of death.
I am mother
to the one you left behind
there is no room here for the dying.
We will live, together.
We will honor the redemptive tapestry
for we are the keepers of your story.
I gather strength in the morning, cold water
bowing low over porcelain
washing away tears escaped in sleep.
Resilience the gold seeping through the crevices of
a broken heart.
I am not undone.
I am a phantom thing walking white in moonlight
a wraith to my family and friends.
Who can understand the anguish of
lives unlived, stolen before their time?
I hide under the shelter of wings, other women
gone before me, nodding in silent testimony
of shared loss
We, the fragmented but healing
each other’s only solace
I say goodbye but you are marked on my body.
Scars, the vertical lines bear witness to
a pain buried under the bulge of a belly
diminishing too soon.
We are mothers to a host of
spirits wrenched from our abdomens.
We are vulnerable but strong.
our hearts beat in time with the cadence of yours.
We will go on, knead the dough, make the heart-shaped
pancakes for toddlers cradling our shins
because we have to.
Because we are the witnesses, image bearers,
torches in the shadowy night
though the dark may destroy us
we will not bend until there’s meaning
fashioned from our loss.
We refuse to let your deaths
make a mockery of our light.
Let the storm come, bash us against the
we will not yield
‘til we make a heaven from our hell.
May beauty swell from
our songs sung clear and high.
I love you to the moon and back
I love you to infinity
I love you ‘til the earth wastes away
and I am nothing but silvery dust
floating in inky space towards the melding
of our holy union.
Though the lightning splits the sky
my vision of you in God’s arms isn’t a cruelty.
She croons over your sleeping heads
until the moment we are enfolded in
each other’s embrace.
Text © Sarita Hartz
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