Today the sun was shining on the road I was driving down, tiny green leaves of spring on either side, and all of the sudden I felt like I had skin again. I felt that everything was no longer on the surface, that total strangers couldn’t look at me anymore and be able to tell that I was bereft and drifting in the wake of my mother’s sudden death. All of the sudden, I was moving forward instead of just going through the motions.
I had been reading Wyatt Prunty’s new volume of poems entitled Couldn’t Prove, Had to Promise and I wonder if the way I had to stop and think about his poem “What Kind” had anything to do with my emergence.
Personalize it, if you must. Somewhere
Love’s gone off for a weekend in the mountains
Or to the beach; love’s driving somewhere other
Than your little life, watching and welcoming fan
Of yourself, to what was always coming anyway—
Something like expensive fixtures hanging from
High ceilings with a light so generalized
You are your old self even as you’re not,
Reiterative to the end, not scared exactly,
Just slowing as you feel someone familiar
Taking your side in things, cooling you down
On things, and by that making you
Think of tomorrow more fondly than before.
I could always count on my mother to take my side in things. But today I got a little help from someone at work, and I guess it made me think that tomorrow I might get some more, and eventually that could add up to something. Maybe it’s “what was always coming anyway” but now it feels more deliberate, something that can be personalized but doesn’t have to be in order to be accepted.
And Pippin is one year old now. She never met him, but he lounges on her furniture like it’s his.