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Day 18, “Interview”

My apologies for this snarky poem. Starting to show some NaPoWriMo wear and tear. Wrote commentary (below) to explain more.

Poem #18: “Interview”

What do you do?
I’m into haiku

Where do you work?
In my head (smirk)

How much does it pay?
Nothing, but Namaste

So how do you eat?
At a table, on a seat

No, I mean—
I know what you mean

And how do you dress?
In tie-dye no less

Do your words always rhyme?
No, and I
’m out of time

I see…so we’re through?
I am, aren
’t you?

No, just one question more
Look, I really don’t need another chore

Just tell me, my friend, why your eyes are so sad
Because…because…my son is still dead

I’m sorry, real sorry, to hear of your sorrow
Call me again, then? Maybe tomorrow?

I will…I’ll do that…I’ll try you again
And maybe then, I can ask how you’ve been

I’m no poet, but I do like arranging words! I may not be able to post one a day, but I’m gonna try.

That’s what this April fool said eighteen days ago, on the first day of NaPoWriMo. I’d never even heard of National Poetry Writing Month, but I was in. Writing a poem a day (real poets cover your ears) sounded kind of easy, and interesting. This I could do. Pushing myself to write by a deadline and without obsessing over perfection. Thirty poems in thirty days. This was a personal hurdle that I wanted to jump over. A decent writing goal—especially for this month.

Because for weeks I’ve been exhausted. Is pushing myself to create a few lines a day the reason? I don’t think so. I actually look forward to the lines that pop into my head first thing in the morning. But, as the day goes on, I can hardly keep my head up. I put off posting until late at night. WHY? Because I’m just-so-damned-tired all day. But I’m determined to cross this finish-line, no matter what. Eyes burning, begging to close. Just a few more lines…one more itty-bitty poem.

Maybe I do know the cause of my weariness. I’m never sure, but I think I know: Sam’s death-date is looming. But why should a day on a calendar drain me? He will not die again. I know this, though somehow, I think, my being knows it cannot face that perfect spring day again. It just wants to go to sleep. Sweet sleep. Fogginess, fatigue, forgetfulness, a general malaise. The entire system, mind, body, and soul is shutting down, readying for death, though it has already happened.

This will be the seventh time April 30 will come to pass. And I think I am maybe recognizing the signs of my listlessness to be related, in part, to the days of April. No matter what I tell myself, there seems to be something subconscious, visceral, at work here. As much as I try to think, create, and write, my brain remains inert. I’ve lived in this murky place before, on and off for years now. This trying. This brain-dead writing. Staring at a word for an hour. Then a sentence, two hours. A paragraph, all day, or all week. I’m gonna save him. No matter what, I used to think in the earlier years of my grief. I’d write him back to life. No matter how dead I was, or how defeated…I was going to save him. (Ah yes, the insanity of grief).

But it’s been seven years! Hasn’t any part of me been restored in any way?  Aren’t the billions of cells in our body supposed to be replaced by new cells every seven years? I looked up this this fun fact and read that while most of the body’s tissues are under constant renewal:

“About the only pieces of the body that last a lifetime, on present evidence, seem to be the neurons of the cerebral cortex, the inner lens cells of the eye and perhaps the muscle cells of the heart.”

Great. My brain, eye, and heart cells will not be replaced by newer, stronger, more energetic cells. These organs of mine—brain, trauma etched into its neurons; eyes, heavy-laden lenses; heart, a crumbly muscle—with all their glorious, irreplaceable cells will remain for this lifetime. Warped and mutated, and left to carry on. How poetic.

I’m slow to grasp, but I think it’s sinking in now (dead brain cells and all). After your child dies, accomplishing the smallest of feats is HUGE. Writing an itty-bitty poem every day is a big deal. And though my neurons are toast, at least new ideas are showing up to replace old ones. That is something. So, I may not be able to…but I’m gonna try and drag my warped and tired self to the keyboard and write on—to save him. No matter what.


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Categories: Rewriting Life After Loss

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Rewriting life since the sudden death of my nine-year-old son, Sam (2007).
Trying to LEARN, think, remember, IMAGINE, cope, care, read, EAT, write, live, LAUGH, listen, enjoy, walk, meditate, stretch, watch, stop, BREATHE...and keep going.

4 replies

    1. None taken. Yes, agreed, twisted Dr. Seuss style. Ha ha, perfect. I’m a big fan of his. My son learned to read from his books. And…Dr S and my son, “Sam I am” shared a birthday, March 2nd. Kinda cool, I always thought.

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