He’s been gone from his body
For forty weeks and four days.
For forty weeks and four days,
He grew inside my body.
As he grew inside my body,
From a love to a sprout,
From a grape to an ultrasound,
My God, I was huge,
From a phone call to a groaning cake,
From a moonlit walk to a kiddie pool,
From an explosion–
I knew you before you were born-–
To a strong, determined, wet, fuzzy, baby boy,
As if he’d always been here,
My perfect son,
To whom I whispered, as he pinked:
“You’re not going anywhere.
This is your home.”
And he didn’t. Go anywhere. Not then. Not yet.
He stayed, right here with us, for
Nine years and fifty one days.
We had time.
And now, we don’t.
We have no more time. There is no more time.
Just as the ripening was painstakingly slow,
So has this distancing been relentlessly fast.
His body is not growing now;
It moves in the opposite direction,
Nourishing the rest of us, entwined by root and lichen.
He feels so far away,
Regardless of the blessed loop of my feeble memory,
Regardless of the divine comfort of dreams and owls,
Regardless that I can still feel his fingers interlaced in mine.
I long for the sterile smell of the hospital.
I long for the beeps and the tubes and the late nights in the bathroom.
Because he was here.
The guilt is excruciating: he was hurting then, I know. He isn’t hurting now. I know.
But he was here.
The loquats were ripe when he died.
Their flowers are blossoming again.
I am powerless to stop them,
So I marvel at the translucence of their petals.
9 thoughts on “Forty Weeks + Four Days”
You are such a special person!!!! Sending lots of peace and love!
I am so thankful this time of year to know that God knew me before ‘i’ was born. He loved me so much that He sent His Son to die so that i could live with Him forever. God knows the sorrow of loss and identifies with our pain. He was willing to take on our sin and sickness and sorrow so that we could have eternal hope in living with Him forever. I personally shed many tears for your beautiful, wonderful, son – i grieved along with you but with a grief much less than yours – but God offers us new life together with Him and each other in that He sent His Son to die so we now can live with eternal hope by believing in the life of a baby celebrated a Christmas who grew up to show us what God is like – Jesus loves us!! I am praying for you and your family – thank you for a wonderful poem.
Sending you and your family hugs and love. Your strength and talent always inspire me. ❤
So much love to you, laura. <3
Beautiful words, painful reality.
Much love to surround you, as you navigate this season, this lifetime, with out his living being.
Sending Love to the whole Gilkey Family during this holiday season!