Wednesday, December 31, 2008

No . . . Not Ever


Where does a mother's soul begin and end?
Where does that long cord wind
from deep within . . . out to the heavens?
Does her heart find its beat and rhythm
in the eyes of her child?

I don't know, except that
I have felt such love immortal
and tender
so soft as a tiny sparrow
come to rest in my palm
and then sometimes that strange
and quiet sadness
that would tear my heart wide open.

My child
once a sweet tenant
in my womb . . .
once a part of my every breath,
the presence, the knowing
that I was not alone.

Can a mother forget
that first scent of life born free?
No . . . not ever
till the earth becomes her blanket
in the snow one day
not ever . . .

Joanne Cucinello 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Ring

She tried so hard that day
to make him understand
the ominous feelings that
kept flooding her mind,
the peculiar hushed sadness
that came over her
every time she looked at him.
Some great dark storm
was rolling in,
to overtake the sweet soft
sunlight that
was playing on his face.

“Don’t leave today”, she begged him.
“Call in sick, they owe you time.”
He smiled that perfect smile and
rearranged the tendrils on her brow.
“I’ll be home before you know it, Babe. . .
Short day today . . . but they really need me.”
“It’s me who needs you” she pouted,
while he planted kisses on her teary lips.
“What’s the matter . . . got the blues?”
She turned around and held him tight.
“Hurry back . . . I love you.”

Ten years ago
on a day . . .
just like today
full of sunshine and promises
he gave her that ring . . .
the ring she lost last year
in Cancun
just like him.
“Don’t worry, Babe,
I’ll buy you another soon as we get back.”

Now, her eyes followed his sun tanned neck
as he walked out the door
and he blew a kiss from the Jeep
just like always.
“Oh God” she thought,
“will I make it through this day?
Hormones . . .Hormones . . . I HATE YOU!!”
she gritted and closed the door behind.
Then it came
the honk of his truck outside
when he backed up the drive . . .
“You’re not going?” she beamed.
“I’m going, no such luck” he said
as he rolled down the window.
“Just wanted to tell you . . .
I didn’t forget my promise.”
He looked her straight in the eye,
“I’m the luckiest guy in the world”.
She held back her tears and waved him on
. . . and that was the very last time.

When the officer came to the door
later that day
She knew . . .
Turnpike 63 . . . she warned him just the other day.
He said it was a shortcut.

All they pulled from the wreck
was his torn jacket.
Oh, how he loved that jacket
old as it was.
She hugged it and rocked it
and wept and the words he said that morning
went round and round in her head.
That’s when she felt it
crushed in his pocket,
a small velvet box
the gold ring he promised,
words carved inside this time . . .
Did some kind spirit warn him too?
It read:
“They say to remember
is to love . . . and oh, how I love to remember.”

Joanne Cucinello 2008

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