Altering the Bonds

(the children, hardly children anymore)

Behind the forming
still unfinished faces,
she feels them slip
away from her;
altering the bonds.
A loosening
like letting out the seams
in her flesh.
(and she remembers the episiotomies)

She wants to yank
the children back
but can't; a tug-of-war.
Or lure them with
the same soft singsong voice
that drew them to her then;
its brief enchantment undone,

The eyes that will not
by her coaxing
or insistence bend
to meet her gaze.
Her own face forty now,
already into its unforming.

(the aging parents and her rage
at their diminishment)

Behind the demolition
of their faces,
she feels them slip
away from her;
altering the bonds.
A loosening,
an unraveling.

They sit deliberately down,
landing as if dropped upon
their places on the couch.
Her father hardly speaks;
her mother chatters on and on.
There is no room for her
at all.

She wants to throw herself
smack into them,
force back the space,
a brutal kind of burrowing.
Or shake them by the shoulders
into who they were before;
the solid strength,
the crooning comfort
spent too soon.

(married almost twenty years)

Beyond the clutches of my fury
and beyond my reeling-in,
I feel them slip away
in this abandonment,
but then

there is your hand
upon my arm,
a firmament.

You who I chose
for no good reason then
(your bearded smile and
the color of your eyes)
beside me still.

I choose you now again
and feel a clasping,
feel a fastening
of the bond.

-- Deb Cooper

Send Comments to Greg Gordon MD, CFI, cydoc@earthlink.net
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