Posts Tagged ‘self-forgiveness’

This morning I painted
a wooden marker for your grave—
a slender plank to hold the space
until the stone arrives.
I wanted it to be perfect,
but I am not a painter.
I am a mother painting
a wooden marker
for the grave of her son,
but there is devotion
in the uneven blue coat,
devotion in the crooked silver lettering,
devotion in every brush stroke of white.
In the movie of me,
I watched as the lens zoomed in
on my awkward hands
to show their slow and loyal work.
Then the frame widened
to include the quiet rooms in the house,
widened more to comprise the summer field,
then panned and tilted to the sky
to show the gathering rain.
After the fade to gray,
I was still here, sitting at the table,
paint on my dress,
my life not a movie but my life—
every day the chance to live into it.
I flashed back to sitting
at this same table
where you learned to write your letters,
then learned to write your name.
Fast forwarded through thousands
of family dinners.
Flashed to this morning
as I finished the grave marker,
shaping the letters of your name through tears.
Though a camera couldn’t show it,
I forgave myself
for not being a better painter.
I told myself I did the best I could.
It was hours before the rain began to fall.

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