She reaches

She reaches for the sight of light at the window
early in the mornings
between us in our bed.

Celeste, our daughter.
Her eyes wide, fixed, 

a steadfast gaze in the dusk of dawn.
She’s started reaching this month, 

chubby hands extending to the heavens.
Reaching for the delicate branches above, 

reaching towards the crow perched on the wire, 

reaching for the thin silver crescent of a waning moon rising on the horizon, 

reaching for me.

Something opens I didn’t know was shut.

The deep well of grief, at the bottom the still waters 

running and running and running, 

disappearing into purposefully-forgotten and dimmed reservoirs.
It reminds me of the cold mineral mouthful of river water 

pulling out into the blue and deep crystalline eddy.
Coughing it all up and out.

Pausing, to breathe.

The eddy circling and circling, 

collecting bits of fallen leaves, bobbing sticks, a stray green feather from a migrating mallard.
Watching the river keep going, 

its urgency and momentum, 

bumping against the canyon walls, 

never staying in one place, 

its survival predicated on moving and never stopping to reflect and remember, 

hurtling towards a destination, maybe even a final resting place

perhaps just a direction: east, west, south, north.
These turnouts – the breaks – come after the obstruction.
The river flows past them and its rushing water backfills the space downriver.
Where I sit.
We use these pools for resting, recovering, 

scouting out danger ahead, 

celebrating that we lived through whatever treacherous offerings the rapid just gave us.

He died. 

We lived through a star whose light has ended.

Which is why it gives me pause when she reaches for the sky.

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1 Response to She reaches

  1. Susan Drevenak Melm says:


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