the last fall

March 5th, 2013


I want to tell you that the baby won’t fall
the tooth won’t break
the skin won’t scrape
no row of stitches at the hairline
you never saw it coming
I want to tell you that the teasing won’t hurt
the teacher won’t frown
the kids won’t laugh
her name won’t be the last one called
because I suck at kickball that’s why
I want to tell you that your heart won’t rip
your eyes won’t mist your breath won’t catch
when she disappears into her lonely self
beneath a sweatshirt two sizes too big
a widow
to her babyhood
I’m not that girl anymore
I want to tell you that the flowers won’t bloom
the leaves won’t bud
the fruit won’t dangle and drop
that nothing fades and nothing dies
nothing hurts and nothing leaves
you’ll never see it going
but it will go
it will go home
the way a period ends a sentence
the earth is our mother
she heals even the last fall.

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  1. As I watch my two oldest nieces, in a sense, my two oldest children, they are going through so many changes at 9 and 10 and you want nothing more than to wrap them up and shelter them from any and all that is coming there way! Thank you for this.

    Comment by Diamond Camabareri — March 5, 2013 @ 8:15 am

  2. thank you.

    this is exquisitely beautiful.

    Comment by Angela (journeyswithasimplegirl) — March 5, 2013 @ 10:18 am

  3. Thank you for this. I too have a 13-year old daughter (and one that is 11). I really understand…and sometimes it is exquisite and so comforting to be able to read words from one who is so gifted in writing them. Words can heal, can teach, can connect…thank you for all these things.

    Comment by Kirsten — March 5, 2013 @ 6:31 pm

  4. I have a three year-old niece and I sometimes find myself wanting to tell her future self these very kinds of things. But it’s the scrapes, the stitches and the hurts that will give her the depth and wisdom to find her own way. Thanks for writing this!

    Comment by Chris Lemig — March 5, 2013 @ 8:41 pm

  5. This is such a fine poem. Sometimes I can write a good poem. Sometimes I can’t. This one takes my breath away. Thank you.

    Comment by JackB woman — March 5, 2013 @ 8:43 pm

  6. Thank you. I needed to read that right at this moment.

    Comment by amiee — March 5, 2013 @ 9:19 pm

  7. Wow.

    Comment by kasey — March 6, 2013 @ 7:11 am

  8. ooh, I really liked the “widow to her babyhood” part. Good stuff. Thanks for the words.

    Comment by Stephanie — March 6, 2013 @ 7:28 am

  9. The fall or the catch never ever stops! You fall at one and at 71, 81 or even 91. Somebody catches you when you are one, maybe. At 71, or 81 or even 91, who cares? Then you realize what “coming full circle really means”

    Comment by Vivian Hatfield — March 6, 2013 @ 12:07 pm

  10. as always, your words meet me exactly where I am, and deliver a message so relevant to my life.

    much love to you. xo

    Comment by denise — March 7, 2013 @ 8:39 am

  11. Lying in bed just now, sandwiched between two sick girls and thinking about what it is to mask anger with a gloss of niceties, your words “let it fall” came back to me. No one scotch-tapes dead leaves to the trees, color them green and say they’re still vital. Nor do we renounce their fall, which of course fertilizes what’s to come. And then, when the trees bud again, we wouldn’t even think of rewarding them. It’s the other way around–their green is a gift.

    Comment by Jena — March 8, 2013 @ 11:58 am

  12. And clearly I’m in a bit of a haze myself–colors and says.

    Comment by Jena — March 8, 2013 @ 11:59 am

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