Stigmata

A grief poem for Lent

Grief creeps in

at first unnoticed,
unrelated to thought.

It descends slowly,
uninvited
sly and clammy
like fog.

Without warning, her eyelids
grow heavy and wet
a stinging sensation in her throat
shifts to her chest
belly heaving.
Legs immobilized, feet stick to the floor.
A face across the table saying what?

Then the memories
a smile, a laugh, that yearned-for familiar voice.
Their sorrow, her child’s and her own.

They say that to be a mother
is to have your heart walking around in someone else’s body.

What they say is true.

But wait!
When that someone else dies
what becomes of her heart that
was carried in that dear body? Turns out,
it was the most fragile of things.
Who knew it was made of spun glass so delicate that when it fell,
it shattered into exactly
Seventeen thousand
five hundred eight slivers.

No restoring that.

And so, she scooped them up and carries them around everywhere she goes. Every grieving mother has a stigmata
on the palms of her hands.

Everyone can see it.
They just need to look.

Marguerite Sexton 3.6.19

7 thoughts on “Stigmata”

  1. Dear Marge, When I think of how sad I feel when I hear one of my children or grandchildren is sad or ill, I can’t imagine your loss and sadness. Who is being bullied? Who was diagnosed with an eating disorder? Who’s husband is struggling financially and how that can affect the marriage? Thinking of you today and sending you peace, love and blessings. Cassie

    Like

  2. Marge that came from the very core of your loss of Ron. Eileen said it very well…beautiful and painful. Sending a big hug.

    Like

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