© by Tammy Ruggles (Different Perspective)
There are no footprints in the sand
there is only concrete in the crematorium
and she’s been sweeping up her children’s ashes.
My sister wakes up in a hospital bed,
to the only truth, that is true:
God feels far away, and the air in heaven is thin.
So many visitors, come and go
and even when they say the wrong thing,
she tells them “God bless you, too.”
I pray with the ones that pray with love, but
when the fanatical become more fanatical
I open my eyes wide
and worship the orange jell-o
that trembles when they call his name.
Please! No more talk of angels, and heavenly gates,
how we should rejoice in his name. I say, if there is a God
he is not singing, he is weeping!
when you go home to that dark place,
the empty high chair, the vacant blue swing,
the crib, the sippy cups, baby spoons, car-seats, and strollers,
the bedroom filled with the echoes of two dead sons,
remember your horses in the pasture: the soft nuzzle, the breath,
the neigh. Remember the damp sweet smell of your dog’s claw,
the wag of her tail. Sit in the living room by the big window
with your three cat’s, watch the birds in your garden for any sign of hope;
let the rays from sun shine upon you,
stretch that light around you, use it like a rope;
wrap it around your waist, your chest, your heart;
reach up with both hands and
hold on, hold on.
Kristin Laurel owes her passion for writing to The Loft Literary Center (MPLS). Her work can be seen in CALYX, Gravel, Glassworks, R.k.vr.y, The Main Street Rag, Grey Sparrow, The Raleigh Review, The Mom Egg, Apeiron Review, The Doctor TJ Eckleburg Review, Split Rock Review and numerous others. Her first full-length book, Giving Them All Away, won the Sinclair Poetry Prize from Evening Street Press.To read a free copy, go to eveningstreetpress.com/