25 September 2013

come again

Dream Marks on My Pillow by Ana Lancu
Last night before bed, I stepped out onto the front porch while Booker T. raced with a predatory growl towards the woods behind our house.  I waited for him to return, a triumphant skip in his step telling me all was safe and sound thanks to him, and from there on the front steps I noticed there was no moon out, or at least not one I could see.  A few stars dotted the sky but the yard was darker than usual and my big black dog crept back up beside me almost camouflaged.

I had been thinking of her off and on all day--my sweet Nanny who left us in June--and another round of loss swept through me there...no moonlight only made me miss her more. I scratched Booker's ears and cried, soft so that no one would hear, as if anyone was listening at that time of night.

I'll never be a little girl again.
I'll never see her shrug her shoulders
the way she always did.
I'll never see her handwriting on a
letter in my mailbox.
I'll never see her listening with interest
to my little boy's chatter the way she
always delighted in whatever I had to say.
I'll never see her again.

Ryan let Macauley sleep with us--a real treat on a school night--and with puffy eyes I slipped into the tiny sliver of our king size bed left for me, my son's now long legs tucked in close to mine and my big black dog in a ball at my feet, my husband miles of blankets and pillows away. Our room was dark and warm and I read only a few pages of my book before I floated into sleep.

And then, she was there...standing on my front walk, reaching out to me with a piece of paper in her hand.  He was there, too, a few feet behind her and to the side in dark blue jeans and the striped shirt he had on in their only picture with Macauley when he was a baby.  I grabbed her and squeezed her and cried for her to stay.  She just stood there and let me, still holding the paper.

I blinked and turned to see the numbers on the clock pushing me to start another day. I stared at the ceiling, making myself remember seeing her, knowing how dreams come and go if you don't commit them to long-term memory...like so many days I spent with her or spent not with her...they just slip away.

I could have cried in the car this evening when I told Ryan on the way to dinner. He said maybe it was a sign but he didn't say of what.  If I cry for her again tonight, will she be there on my front steps when I close my eyes?


the heart breaks and breaks
and lives by breaking
It is necessary to go
through dark and deeper dark
and not to turn

~Stanley Kunitz
"The Testing Tree"

2 comments:

summersundays-jw said...

heI wonder so often how my grands will remember me when I'm no longer with them. Hopefully, as fondly as you remember yours. Think I've told you this before....I love your writing. Looking forward to your first book. Jan

Julie said...

I have no doubt she came to visit and comfort you while you slept. I will never forget going away to college. The first couple days I was so scared and alone. My grandfather (I did not know him very well but we shared the same birthday) had passed the summer before. One night he came an sat on the edge of my bed in my dorm room. He told me that everything was going to be okay. The next day I met you. :) How special that you got a visit, I'm sure it will not be her last. Love you.

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