Mournings After

Wasn’t it just night outside?

I can feel the sun.

Somehow I find myself again

splayed on the couch

SVU still muted on the screen.


Every morning starts like this,

in blurred disarray

poached eggs, emails, and memories

of a time when

I could call you on the phone to yell.


So I failed at motherhood.

Tell me something new.

I knew you were an addict but

what could I do

more than berate the grown man I raised?


I’ll never forget that church.

You were in a box,

while a thousand people gathered in

to shed their tears

and hug me, like hugging a cactus.


After the fun’ral I thought

only sleep was safe.

If I stayed on the couch each morning

I wouldn’t feel

that I was no longer a mother.


But long after the Last Day

your Last Day, I mean,

I decided to sit up straight and

meet the new day,

with one foot in front of the other.


I have to keep working now

and doing my hair.

I have to take care of my husband

and to survive,

I have to take care of me, okay?


I am not just living my life for you, Zach.

I am also living it for me.

I’m sorry.

I wake up to survive.

This poem is about: 
My community
Our world


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