Posted in My Bonnie, Poetry

the color red

The brand new baby was born yesterday… just in time,” (Jack Johnson)

Photo 357

My mother’s left wrist
haunts me,
The one limp on her lap,
While the rest of her
shrivels under a pile of blankets
on a perfect beach day.

The hum of the oxygen machine muffles
our outrage
While she struggles to breath,
terrified of storms and power outages.
And just as the air shifts from summer
to fall,
She is gone…

All winter long
I lay in my bed
Beneath the caging of striped wall paper,
sun streaming through windows painted shut
(or was it always snowing?)

The baby, beside me
Each day of his life
representing another
of mine
Without her.

He nurses in the crook of my arm,
as the the comfort
of grief
washes away
the emptiness
of despair.

I stare at my hand
Until it becomes hers–
The bony bend from wrist to fingers
Touching his head,
like a flower bent to kiss the earth one last time…

And I think of suicide…
Not mine, of course.
I have the blessing of this new child,
and this old house–
Both strangers,
but never mind that.

If I was a person who would kill herself,
I would slit these beautiful bends at my wrist,
at her wrist,
so Christ-like in surrender,
and Walk…
past the wallpaper
and the sealed windows,
into the tiny bathroom
with the slanted floor
Turning my gaze into
the white porcelain sink,
as it welcomed
the color

(kelly salasin, January 2001, vermont)


Lifelong educator, writer, retreat & journey leader, yoga & yogadance instructor.

2 thoughts on “the color red

  1. To think of it, to dwell in it… & remain here… That is a fete… There is work to be done… My heart, soul… Goes out to you.


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