When we are supposed to laugh

She runs her hands along the grain, movement a stain

hearing rust loosen and turn to red and green exquisitely

grief lies her head slower in time

perhaps given enough, doors opening to learn

why she holds her hand over her mouth so long

as her sisters, once younger and afraid, nesting behind her skirts

flew from their hinged cages, they had less fear than she

though in truth it is not fear that stays her hand

but a lament she was born with, hearing in her crib, the press of tragedy

Like some will carry lanterns, light darkest paths, for others to step towards

as her sisters learn to speak new language and grow like hungry ivy

she feels the pit of her stomach open and a seedling sprout from within

it hurts so much to grow internally, like a miscarriage refusing to leave

she holds on to every moment as thick rope will choke, if you let it

she must drive it out of her

but how to divorce the parts necessary for survival? Retain a whole?

from those who seek to devour

as light will find a way into a closed off room

distinction slowly lost, leaving shadows to dance on clean tile

the smell of another day, unsure, it is about all time before, come to now

see her lying still, as untouched water in glassy gloom

how she wished to follow their burning quilled footsteps

higher into turquoise forest where even now, laughter can be heard

below surface where nothing stirs, but slow tread of one who is neither alive nor perished

but fragment awaiting its missing part

she thought so often it was you, and then her empty hands

demonstrate

the futility of wishing

for we are free only when, we claim nothing but the words growing in our gut

urging us to cry when we are supposed to laugh

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26 thoughts on “When we are supposed to laugh

  1. Crying and laughing
    Interchangeable
    Laugh because it hurts so much
    Cry because the pleasure is so intense
    Is it true, can it be so
    That “only with your laughter
    Can you win”?*

    *Joni Mitchell, “Roses Blue”

  2. Thank you very much I really appreciate that. Much of what I write about is not literally biographical but to highlight or point to injustice and inequality, that’s the best thing about poems they can really do that. I do have six books published. Thank you again for your kind words! I”m so glad that you liked reading my work and very appreciative to you.

  3. I would comment on your blog as it is wonderful and you really have some excellent posts of your own and then some really good posts from guest posters, that’s what I would have said, and keep up the good work as never more than now has this been important to keep spreading the message and hopefully it will lead to more change and less judging. HUGS and glad to meet you PS did I mention I really like your blog? πŸ˜‰ xo

  4. Aw thank you. I have disabled comments because I couldn’t keep up with replying to them. I get easily overloaded as my brain has minimal capacity (trauma effects and meds). I had so many posts on my blog. (350 plus), but had a mass delete session recently. I’m wanting to start writing more positive things but pain is always my default setting. I love your writing. It inspires me to try more poetic writing πŸ’›πŸŒˆπŸ’›

  5. This is poignant. Reminds me of a song about a brother asking his sister why she’s still not married, and through the song, we (he?) slowly comes to the realisation that she could not, she was taking care of them. She didn’t feel free to live for herself.
    Having had a miscarriage that refused to leave, I feel that those two pains are very different. Both are about not being in control of your own life, your own body. But for me, one was full of sadness and grief, mixed with wanting it to be over with too. The hope is gone. The other is is more the weight of responsibility, feeling that if I give up, then all hope will be gone, so I have to keep standing and fighting, so that hope remains.

    (PS: my beautiful angel left (was torn out of) my body but she’s still very much part of my life, heart and soul πŸ™‚ Her siblings know about her, they know about all of my miscarriages, it’s something we talk openly about)

  6. Miscarriage is one of the hardest things to write about. I think when a woman does, she leaves a part of herself. I admire you for surviving that pain as I know it is very, very hard. I am glad you have other children to fill your heart but I agree, she will be with you always, she will never truly be gone. You are so right about the ‘not being in control’ aspect, you always read my poems the way I would wish them to be read if I had a choice, I love your interpretations you are so good at that, thank you for taking the time to read this and respond, I am very grateful to you my friend. Your other children are lucky to have you as their mum. I am sorry you have had to go through that though, I know, I really do, how awful it is, and I would not wish that upon anyone.

  7. I am sorry you know that pain. I went through it more than once, though the most traumatic one was the first, having seen a heartbeat and then… nothing. It was made harder by the fact my ex didn’t really acknowledge any of them until we were about to separate. 10 years later.
    I had a very powerful moment once, during a dance meditation. I turned left and felt all of my angels in heaven in my arms. I turned right and felt all of my angels on this Earth in my arms. So much live was shared. Very powerful and helped me heal from the traumas.

    Thank you very much for your kind words. They were needed.
    πŸ’•

  8. I’m so very sorry your ex didn’t acknowledge them. I know for men who don’t really ‘get’ what you are going through maybe they simply do not understand but that isn’t much consolation for you who has to go through it. You just go through it alone even more so without support and that isn’t right. I truly believe if you have life within you then it never leaves you and as you say, is part of you always. That is some consolation I suppose, although it is just very cruel and hard, but all animals seem to go through it as well as us, and maybe there is a reason we cannot fathom – either way it is why women are strongest of all and why we endure. You have a very strong soul my friend never forget that, your reach is far and your heart is further. You may go through hardships that I would never wish upon you but you are a spirit of good and that will always illuminate the darkness. BIG HUG

  9. Wow!
    Thank you!
    My ex… I think he’s always been a strong believer that “if I don’t acknowledge it, then it never really happened”. So for him, it was easier to say this was nothing, not really a miscarriage.
    I have figured out lately that those children who didn’t make it alive decided this would be too complicated for them, to live with such parents. They decided they didn’t want a depressive/abused mother and/or an abusive narcissistic father.
    Maybe there is some truth to it, maybe it’s my way of forgiving myself for what happened? Who knows!
    Big hug to you too! XO

  10. You did nothing wrong. You have nothing to forgive yourself for. You were abused and survived. Your loved ones can be proud of you for that. I am. You overcame. And I don’t know why people have miscarriages but I believe it’s not because they’re being punished πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“

  11. I don’t believe I was being punished. But I forced myself to exercice in 100F weather when my body was telling me I shouldn’t, because my ex was telling me I should. My core temperature rose too high and my baby died. I can feel this to be true deep inside.
    I had to forgive myself for listening to him, and not to myself or my baby.
    I realise now it was part of the abuse. But *that* too, I had to forgive myself for 😊
    πŸ’•

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