Strength

I count the colors of the wrinked tablecloth
by naming them: orange, green, blue, periwinkle.
I try to make my breath emanate evenly
in that floral pattern, vines winding smoothly
from bud to bud through pounding heartbeats,
but the tears stream in wordless apologies:
'I'm sorry I am not stronger. Everyone,
everyone who is alive or will ever be, I'm sorry.
I'm sorry, my boy, that you see your mama cry,
that I don't know how to hold suffering without feeling it.
I'm sorry there is pain in everything, especially love.'
Later, at the moment I finally request forgiveness aloud,
I step out of the car and am instantly startled by
the haunting calls of two, coupled geese sailing overhead.
Suddenly, I am awake. Their message hovers in a cloud
of pale gray wisdom. Despair's spectrum colors collapse;
the clear prism rests on my heart, under a child's hand,
between wings touching: "You are never alone."
I learn that a friend's baby, who was born today,
shares a name with my son. Once again,
I cannot stop crying, this time at beauty's clear patterns -
lines, wingbeats, pulsing hearts across space.
Tonight, I find a fragile day lily growing through black, broken
concrete. It does not see its courage or consider its strength.
It only disregards the wreckage and rises.