Root and Branch

cropped birth certificate

My eyes burn and the clock ticks,

and still, I cannot find the right little baby named, Harriet.

I don’t even know if I have the right mother,

and still, I search for this elusive little girl with one or two “t”s.

And I already have five James,

who could be her father, her brother, or her son.

And when once I have narrowed it down

to the proper Harriet,

the one with the proper number of children,

with just the proper names,

I will work on another branch.

Or is it a root? Heavens, I sound like a gardener!

Next, I’ll be pruning, watering, and fertilizing things.

Watching to see things grow.

Digging up things that have died.

No, no time for that.

I’m off to rescue fair Joanna,

a Coffin born, yet buried a Knight.

Not for lack of trying mind, I was bound and determined

she would be a Lunt,

but no, not our fair Joanna.

And did it in style with eleven children,

almost all of them boys to go into the Navy.

So, what next? Walk through another cemetery?

Check on that date of death?

Or should I switch to something really challenging,

and go looking for lost Uncle Harry

in Florida? Texas? ??

no pain..

I woke and paused to send a thread of thought out.

No pressure.  No squeezing.  No stabbing or throbbing.

No pain..   I hesitated to move for fear it would sneak up on me

as it had been doing for the past eight days.

Finding me in my weakest moments.

Just when I thought I might be free.

This time it seemed to be gone,

really gone.

Not just waiting for me to make the wrong move and set off

more pain..

that would send me back under the covers,

into the dark and quiet womb of my bedcovers.

Back to search for numbing blackness

with just the top of my head sticking out of the pile

to keep my head cool

to keep my head from overheating and exploding again.

Perhaps I could attempt to sit up – to see

if today I might be free from its grip.

I gently pushed back the covers and pushed myself up.

Tentatively taking in a breath of air, testing my limits.

A small stretch.

And then a bigger one to get out the kinks in my shoulders

from hunching under covers for so long.

Just to sit and blink at the morning light,

and listen to the morning birdsong

with no flinching or cringing. No pain..

jee3.2018