As I live and Breathe

I remember how our 10-year old grieved when we buried Rikki,
an exclamation of fur crusted with slaver. His,
an inglorious attempt to face off the huskies,
looking much like wolves.

Cries erupted from her small frame in inconsolable gusts,
blowing apart our adult resolve. Smashing our remove
against the indomitability of her sorrow,
leaving us all in pieces around the ground of his grave.

And the youngest’s shriek when she dropped the class hamster,
sure its unconscious bulk could only mean
the end of everything as she knew it –
fear rendering her ashen, immobile.

But our little girl grew up – passion transformed into disregard,
sorrow plastered over with kohl and powder, implacable –
our baby’s brush with mortality enough to cure her
from abject terror in the face of demise.

Today, after fifteen years of pacing the perimeter, Kodi
curled to sleep in her den of pampass grass and sun,
crafted for warmth and a global view of the back yard.
There, she exhaled into the arms of eternity.

A daughter, hardly nine, stands in for me, a thousand miles away.
She is as calm as a stone, dropping the blanket over her rough coat,
tossing in the first handful of earth.

Thoughts on the Second Chakra


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