Tuesday, September 05, 2006

From Our "Heart on Sleeve" Department: A Poem

First Anniversary
by Mark Riggs

Hard to believe--a year has passed
Since that time I saw you last--
A year since I brushed back your hair,
And kissed your cheek, and watched you stare...

I know no reason for a pause
Except the Earth is where it was
The day our shared time here was done
(In terms of placement from the sun).

Twelve months have gone since our last scene,
And I've done nothing in between--
No deeds to make you swell with pride--
In these twelve months since you have died.

I've been on stage, and you'd have done
Your sotto voice of, "That's my son."
My average has shown modest gains
When throwing fifteen pounds down lanes.

As part of some confusing search
I find myself each week in church.
I wake each painful day and try
To heed your words: to laugh, not cry.

And laugh I do, but here's the thing:
You are not here to watch me sing
Or bowl or laugh or search or teach
or listen to my tales of each.

And here's a thing I know and fear:
In twelve more months, another year
Will be between then and new now.
Still, I should carry on somehow.

For you were gone before that day.
No laughing smile, no playful way
That meant my mother was still here.
Yes, it's been longer than a year.

So here's a plan of what I'll do
Until I get to be with you--
Well, assuming there's some after
When I'll get to hear your laughter.

Within my heart I'll keep a list
Of mother things--all sorely missed.
I'll cherish them--and share them, too
And that's my way of keeping you.

Three hundred sixty-five days and
I still wish I had held your hand
When I told you we understood
And if you had to go, you should.

Now I wonder if this aching
Means my heart will not stop breaking...
No more laughter and no more scenes.
No more grandmother in blue jeans.

No more face full of mother's pride.
No more feeling of joy inside
That came from being there with you.
It's been twelve months--and nothing's new.

I'm getting down--I should end this.
Just let me tell you that we miss
You being here. We really do--
Your children, and your grandkids, too.

In three hundred and sixty five
Times all the years left I'm alive
More days, I hope I can confess
I do not miss you any less.

(c) copyright 2006 Mark Travis Riggs


Andy B. said...

Thank you, Mark. That was amazing.

Vieta said...

Dear Mark... what a beautiful loving tribute to your mother.

Treasure the memories and moments past. You do her proud.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Riggs,
We check your site often to check in on you and Eastgate Land and always find funny and great writings. Tonight we find your wonderful note to your mother. What a nice tribute to a mother from her son.

~The Mattsons
Maryville, Missouri

Peggy Wooden said...

What a great poem, Mark! Good stuff in there for all of us who've lost a mother or other loved one to Alzheimer's.

I haven't checked in for awhile, so just spent a half-hour or so getting caught up. Nice to "visit" with you again!

BTW, ditto to tickmeister's advice about the zinc lozenges--they really work!

We miss you on the wildersontour blog!