Monday, May 04, 2009

NaPoWriMo #28: promises

I know it's a few days after the fact and that if I finish at all, it will be 30 poems in 30+ days, but that's okay with me. I'm tearing the leaf of perfectionism out of my book, and allowing myself an extension. Which fits really well with the theme of this poem; sometimes it takes longer than we planned to get around to finishing something, but that doesn't mean it's too late.

Amends to the Dead

Other people I've loved have died
but none so young and
none who came to me years after
asking a favor only I could return

I remember more than six years ago
a dream so unlikely so surreal
I almost wrote it off to the cocktail
of raging pregnancy hormones

but woke up startled
with a realization of what it meant
and promised faithfully
I would do what you asked

it wasn’t until after my son’s birth
I could muster courage enough
to take the first and hardest step
but aided by heaven’s hand I did

then life or rather more specifically
fear of living got in my way
of honoring promises to the dead
and another four and a half years passed

in shameful remembrances
of a promise half-kept then postponed
and dread that now it was
too late too late too late

a few months ago someone I know
told me about her own pledge to a friend
told me when I didn’t even ask
about keeping her promise and I knew

she wouldn’t have said that
wouldn’t have brought back my hope
wouldn’t have whispered it’s not
too late too late too late if it was

so I’ve picked up where I left off
and I’m begging literally praying
for you to please forgive my frailty
my faithlessness and forgetful fear

which is not to say I’m not still afraid
but more than anything else
I want to be true want to do for you
what you cannot do for yourself

and in that single moment
where I am silent where I can
still the churning fears in my head
your voice comes soft and wise and kind

I saw
I know
I understand
I forgive.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful Katie, glad I can help you fulfill your promise.