Broken Rules

it happens every year to varying degrees

sneaking up in plain view, subtly marked on my calendar

written only in pencil as if i could erase it at will

the anniversary of learning that not all rules apply

parents don’t always die first

 

i have to remind myself that i am not unique

grandma, burdened with a disease that stole memories

but not her grief, cried out each day for her lost son

someone took my baby, where is my baby, give him back to me

my aunt sharing memories of her baby boy being brought home

in a very small box in the back of the car, long miles of silence

the afflictions are irrelevant, the stillness of our sons is not

we believed the rules would apply, the rules should always apply

all we really control is our response, all else is smoke and mirrors

 

he carried your casket alone, standing tall, he did not stumble

i walked behind, barely standing at all beneath the weight of my grief

we somehow set the pace for lonely, singular walks through dark valleys

delivered to babyland, like they thought it might lighten the mood

it was not, nor is it now, a rollercoaster found at amusement parks

my sadness no longer resides there, unfulfilled dreams have all grown up

that guttural sound emanating from the hole left behind is still here, now muffled

the years have covered it with surprising laughter, wrapped it with fresh hope 

love from all sides, memories of you, soften the edges and bring you to me in flashes

the smiling baby whom I loved, others barely had chance to become smitten with

life can be so unexpected that to us, mere mortals, it appears cruel and unfated

especially on a saturday morning when we are trying to pretend that all the rules apply

our hearts grasping and reaching out for what might have been and coming up empty

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14 responses to “Broken Rules

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