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Feb 02

On Tears

green

“I can’t even control my own starving.” –Melissa Stein

The approach to the full moon pressed against me & came calling & asked me what I’m scared of. I’m scared of what’s next after finally learning how to love my children well. I’m afraid I’m allergic to dairy & my cheese consumption is feathering my cells into configurations that lead to cancer. I mean I read that one editor hates alliteration and I tell you I cannot get enough of two beginning sounds that sound the same.

Oh how different we are!

Oh how alike we are!

To be sealed in this human skin is to wonder at how the moon pulls at me & at my dog too. My dog wouldn’t eat for days and I ate all my tears that could not stop flowing out of my red-lined eyes.

They say it was a red moon, a blue moon, a lunar eclipse and, you know, the most giant moon that you should wake up to see. Except if you live on my block because then the clouds would cover its glory. I read that this moon would toss you all around and spit you up. Do you know that I was spit-shined by all the tears I cried leading up to this glorious moon event?

I want to blame the moon but the truth is this grief is all mine. That I can look backwards on the year preceding this moon and see people close to me who hurt so much that their pain was a purse I carried. A purse loaded with used-up tissues wet from my tears. My brother says that year is over but all that happened spills into the now. I spiral back and forth like the moon waxes and wanes.

Do you wish you had feelings as intense as me? That you could call the moon a sister and know why your dog didn’t eat for days? Do you want to take the room’s temperature and talk about the waves of pain coming off of some of the people inside that room?

The red-blue-lunar-eclipse moon, she’s waned. Or is it waxing?  If this were a finished product ready to be published, I would know if it were waned or waxed. But the truth is I want you to know that I sobbed myself to sleep the night of the full moon, the night before my first baby turned 16. That I believe my friend who says this being with my girl as she becomes a young woman is another way of giving birth. It’s supposed to be painful.

And all the knocking I hear around me that reminds me of who I used to be? New mother, confused mother, mother with a breaking heart: I hear you. I am you. And I’m stronger than I used to be because the moon has seeped into me. I’m red-blue-lunar-eclipse strong, a mother who spent her daughter’s 16th birthday mostly alone because 16 is off being a teen.

The moon wanes and my breathing is steadier now. My tears settle into the bed-sheets, the family room rug, into my alliteration-soaked poems and across this atmosphere. It falls like the rain that’s merely spitting today outside my office window.

Is it raining where you are?

2 comments

  1. daniel

    Sometimes that rain seems to taste a bit salty.

    I got up early to see that moon, but Seattle’s wonderful temperate climate was in an attitude of denial. Much disappointment to go around our house.

    We are so busy in the now we can’t even think about thinking about what’s next, let alone wonder (and worry) about it. And that bothers me.

    1. Nancy Schatz Alton

      Ah, but still and yet, your now is filled with kids of all ages. Incredibly hard, but part of me wishes for 5 or 6 or well, I lose count. But I love seeing you with them.

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