Saturday, May 25, 2019

My Life by Matthew Zapruder

My Life

four years ago
on Martin Luther King Day
in the afternoon
the little strip
said it was time,
so we did it twice
laughing through
that grim comical
despair familiar
to all modern
it was magical
only that it worked
but now I know
it was then
my life began,
we made so
many plans
already waited
to obviate,
suddenly he was born,
a room full of blood
and shouting,
he stayed calm
sleeping on my chest
a long time while
they sewed you up,
he and I
in a room alone
under a soft white light,
one nurse came
to say it was all right,
you were not
but you were there,
I talked to him,
whatever I said
I don’t remember,
then came the proud
sleepless happy
sorrow months
then slow realizing
playground dread,
the year
of diagnosis when
our life kept
being a place
for worsening fears
in enviable comfort
to occur as we
graciously received
the humiliation
of being the ones
gratefully not to be,
those many hours
in the bedroom screaming
then lurching out
for exhausted walks,
trying with no
success to protect
us from everything
anyone could say,
gradually all our friends
and family lovingly
without intention
back into their lives
abandoned us,
we did not know
it was just us
growing stronger
in relation to a future
where no one
without permission
may join us,
now we’re moving
fortunate ones
from our beloved house
to another on a hill
near a school
where his mind
happily alive
in music can grow,
can I say he is
my painful joy,
he thinks
in rhyme,
the truest friend
to no one yet
he is my
favorite word
why am I telling you
you know it all
and yet to say
my version
of our story
in the morning
very early
imagining you
sitting behind me
touching my shoulder
scares and
comforts me,
before I go
I want to tell you
something new,
all the time
I walk around
thinking this life
yes but is this lovely
accident correct
and someday
how will it happen
to our bodies
and when it does
will we feel
like we lived
or just lived through

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