Words for Mara

This is not what I wanted, she said.
Life should be more, she said.
I agreed, straining to see her point.
I can’t see much detail anymore.
I would write my confession
but my knuckles pop
when I grasp a pen
or, well, anything.
I watch her sad face
but she sits to the side
and it hurts my neck
to turn my head.
She mistakes my grimace
for bored impatience
and stomps off in a huff
of discontent and injustice.
I would pursue her
and reassure her and remind
her that I love her
today and every other.
But today is not a good day.
My neck hurts, my
head hurts, my knee hurts
and my fingers pop as
I move them just to
make sure that I can keep
them movable… usable.
I have no noble words
to ease her discontent,
and if I did she would
take them as nice but useless.
It’s not enough to
commiserate or to
sympathize with her restless
straining at cruel bonds.
So I sit here quietly,
cloaked in my pain,
ache and regret, still
wishing that I smelled
candied almonds instead
of green onions.
I don’t know
which is worse, to
have never flown but
desperately wanted to,
or to have soared
and be reminded
by every gentle breeze
that your time has passed
and all there is
for you, old crow
is resting aching bones
on a nice, warm perch.
She’s too young to grasp
the simple gift of words
which to me
are most profound.
Come not here to
rest aching bones.
Better to die quick
upon the jagged rocks
with the wind in your wings
and life in your talons,
too young for regret
and stinging remorse.
Go if you must, for
I hereby release you.
Take to the skies
and never look back.
I will sit here and…
lessen as I watch you
receding, bearing my envy
along with our hope.

Kings Mountain, NC
December 28, 2005
Dedicated to Tonya Marie Nickell

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