tilting her head back, she asked.
laying in the sun, she asked.
mowing the lawn, she asked.
grocery shopping, she asked.
zipping their coats, she asked.
washing their dishes, she asked.
at parties, at events, at picnics,
at concerts, at family gatherings,
on the phone, over email,
in her letters, she asked.
ignite. bam. whoosh. shatter.
her answer exploded in her face.
her answer exploded in her veins.
her answer exploded in her heart.
her answer exploded in her soul.
the earth collapsed and covered her
people ran away.
the real ones stayed.
stood by with shovels.
the kids. what about the kids?
who takes care of them in an earthquake?
their needs moved the earth for her.
the top layers anyway.
standing up, still covered, but moving,
she did what she had to do.
no time for shovels yet.
make the sandwiches, read the books,
talk about their feelings.
walk to the woods and cry.
cover her head at nite and cry.
make breakfast and believe.
make lunch murmuring to herself.
“everything i need is inside me.”
over and over and over and over and over
and over and over and over.
spread your fingers wide, release them.
let them go.
spread your fingers wide. release them again.
scream in the car where no one can hear.
stay quiet when they're listening.
close the door and let it out.
anger fills you.
eat my dust.
anger fuels you.
believe you can do it.
know you can do it.
you can do it.
there is no choice.
you will do it.
make their dinner. wash their dishes.
figure out numbers. pray to god.
ask the universe.
stay up at nite and do what must be done.
get up early and do some more.
feel the sand under your eyelids.
try to laugh and see the light.
gather your courage.
swallow your pride.
go door to door.
i can't do this.
you have to do this.
they'll take them.
you've got a deal.
phone calls ring.
our very first fax.
stomach knots on bill paying day.
checks coming in just when we need it.
guys we need this much money.
guys we got this much money.
we did it.
the universe listened.
they leaned on my door and forgave me.
i leaned on my door and still couldn't forgive me.
they became men.
cars got fixed.
websites got built.
plumbing, electrical, roofing, painting, digging,
mechanical, we can do it all. we have google we
have muscles. we have will.
we're a team.
air compressors proved it. we became unstoppable.
he watched. he helped. he read schematics for long
periods of time and understood them. he read me for
long periods of time and sometimes understood me.
we gathered round him.
we can help. your kids just need love.
we gave and gave and gave and gave and gave.
we must believe it did good that we will never see.
there was hurt and hurt and hurt some more.
we stepped back. he stepped closer. i stepped closer.
we laughed. we hurt. i cried. we committed. except
for the dogs. it's still a partial thing we have to hurdle.
but it's not. and we both know it.
the shovels have been out for years now.
digging is routine.
a way of life.
accepted and okay.
the kids are men.
they know pain, they know psychology
and they love me anyway.
one's moved further on.
two thinking about their own flights.
stuff whirls up again.
open you fingers and release.
open your fingers and let them go.
they aren't now.
you need to know.
he's not them.
they're not you.
love is there.
you found your way.
and you're moving forward.