Monday, November 29, 2010

Forget-me-nots, that's what I'll bring.

I used to go to the cemetary to visit my Father's grave and my Grandfather's grave. Now I find myself searching out the children who left too soon, long ago. I feel like they were there to welcome you to Heaven and so I visit them now to thank them for being your friends and to let them know that they are known.
This is the headstone of Harry, he would have been my Great-great uncle. His mother was Effie. I have seen pictures of her, I recognize her gaze. She is searching for a past that didn't have a future. My Mother has told me of how she almost named me after her because she liked the name Effie. I guess that I was meant to be her namesake in another way. Harry died when he was 2 days old.

Five years old.
People seemed to put more lilies and lambs on the graves of children. Cast in stone, a toy for them to sleep with, for always.

Some of the names I cannot make out due to the age of the stone, but I can see the age and the years, mostly.

I now the secret and the pain in their parents' hearts. "Make sure you remember their names" this statue seems to say.

Goldie. She must have been their light. Her parents' graves were right next to her's. When your Daddy or I die, whoever is the first, one of us will have you placed in our arms before the coffin is closed. We will stay with you.

Two children, I don't know if they were twins or not. Crumbled words.

These doves speak of peace without words. The moss speaks of time without life. I don't believe that there can be nothing.

I have seen this stone more than once. I have wondered why her's is so clear looking, it looks protected and tended, while others seem to have been forgotten.

Two one year olds from different years. At the top, above the dove it reads, "Darlings"

Four little ones all the same family, all different ages, all different years, I believe all girls. All gone. There are so many. Next spring, I will remember to bring flowers, the little stones haven't seen soft life for so long. I will bring petals and whisper your name. So many babies, are there enough Angels to hold all of you?
Night, night Frost
Mama loves you.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Days When the Birds Fly Through You

Today is beautiful, like Spring. It is perfect for a song. What do you think of birds singing? And flying? They are whipped up with the delight of warm weather. And I, with the thought of no Winter. It is a name. So I make it big. Frost is a name, but many make it little. My feet are dancing through the close air now. The air that doesn't show itself, the air that falls around us as we sleep in our beds. The air that doesn't know you. The noise blends me into a pattern of smoothed up sand. Sand that the wind shaped. The same wind burns the skin. My skin is like the sand. Smooth to look at, ancient to feel. What is the sand under water? The sand in the ocean? The sand that doesn't know air. When it is brought to the surface does it feel the same as the dry desert sand? Babies come out of the ocean. They become what we are. You should know the air. Come back from dust with water and air. Look the same as the sand and move back to where I bring you. I couldn't let the snow cover you. The snow, like sand, in drifts collected by the air. I keep you in my room, where our air settles all around. We take it in, you have no lungs. The air adorns your bronze house. It touches you, soft, like piano keys. Can you hear the song the air plays for you? I cannot. But I think that when your breath went out it must have made a new home away from your body. I think that it is here and it falls all around us as we sleep in our beds. I cannot hear the song, but I feel it sometimes. You do not know the air, you are the air. And oh how I feel you.
Night, night Frost
Mama loves you

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I sat under a tree today. I settled down into the Eastern cushion fashioned out of its crackling bark. It is a tree that I have known for years. A tree that I imitated in charcoal when I was twenty. It took me a moment to find it today. It had been awhile since my last visit. The tree has changed a bit in the last year. It is an old, old walnut. I saw no leaves as I walked up to it. Many parts of its trunk have grown hollow. it has dark, dark bark, and in places branches have fallen away to reveal the damaged heartwood. When I sat in the shrill shade of November I still found the warmth I remembered. Low to the ground, I found myself. I found the crispy leaves of many tree-families mingling together, blown by Autumn from their Mother trees. A wind would come up, they would touch and make music. A wind would come up and they would pass each other by. A dog ran through once, moving them as a favor to the wind. Scattering the leaves in a hurdy-gurdy way. Changing their course for just a moment.
When the wind picked up a chill tried to seep in, so I moved to the Southern lump of root. Perched myself and basked in the low sun of late Fall. I tried to lean back into the tree's trunk, but one sharp poke of bark protested my ease. I looked to the ground again. Squirrels had presented so many offerings of acorns to the walnut tree, that for a moment I almost believed that my friend had become an oak. The burl in the root told me otherwise. My own hair matched that burl as it swirled in the wind. Coils of it meandered in front of my eyes, trying to hide the secrets of the wood from my view. Two leaves escaped a nearby pin oak. As I glanced up, they danced together all the way to the dingy grass, only to be separated upon landing.
I moved to the Western throne of roots, it was lower still. The man with the dog passed again. He had been circling. I wondered if he wanted the tree too. If he would have stopped I would have told him your story Frost. Sometimes I long to tell strangers about you. I daydream about having such conversations. Nobody came, nobody asked.
I moved to the chill Northern side. Shallow roots practically plunged me into the earth. I felt the cool of the moss through the thick fabric of my clothing. I waited for what I deserved. On the cool side I looked out in front of me. I saw the tree's shadow stretched long. Majestic, how I remembered it. The shadow didn't show the broken pieces. The exposed core was hidden in the shadow. The shadow had preserved my memory. The memory of a twenty year old before she became a mother. The tree had remembered me.
I stood and watched my own shadow play with the memory. I took a piece of walnut shell from the ground and heard the chatter of a squirrel. I paused and looked to the animal. Her teats showed me that she was a mother also. I spoke your name to her and I knew she understood.
I walked away to other callings. I returned with your sister. We saw the squirrel again, she was sitting in the hollow of the walnut tree chittering towards the heartwood. I know that she was telling the tree your name. I didn't tell your sister the truth, I just let her laugh and chase.
I will be coming back to the tree on your birthday. The tree knows you now, and I told the tree I would be coming. Maybe it will invite both of us to sit together under its branches and listen to its old, old memory.
Night, night Frost
Mama loves you

Monday, November 1, 2010

Maybe you were dressed up as an auburn leaf or the harvest moon

We walked, we watched, we wore disguises. Yesterday was Halloween and you had no mask. As we ambled along with countless trick-or-treaters asking for candy and compliments on costumes, I noticed the tiny costumes. Babies were everywhere. There were baby dogs, baby zombies, baby hot dogs, baby kitties, baby presidents, even baby superheros. They looked about from their parents' arms, wondering at the strangeness that would become an annual festivity in the years to come. There was no way I could dress you up for your first Halloween, Frost, and I'm not sure what you would have been. So this year I focused everything on your sister's outfit. I think that we did an extra good job this year. She was a flapper. A woman from the 1920's, I think that she looked very chic and played the part well. We visited our old neighborhood, it always gives me a comfort to go back there and reminisce about the days that I used to dress-up. I think that Hadley can feel that comfort through me. I wish that I could have taken you there. I guess that I did last year when you were still in my belly. Could you feel the happiness? I hope so.
I'm looking around at all the decorations in the house right now. It's time to change them, it's time to put away the jack-o-lanterns and skeletons. It's time to bring out the turkeys and cornucopias. After that, bells and angels. And then it will be winter. The winter is what I'm dreading, I don't know if I can face that cold again.
Now I know what your costume is, Sweetie, you're the blanket that will have to keep me warm through all of this cold. You are essential.
Night, night Frost
Mama loves you