Poetry

Some Things Never Will

Late to church
she drives into the parking lot
to see the car speeding away,
light blue, a Taurus–
she notes the license plate number.

She often notices things like that,
the color of a car,
the pattern of letters and numbers.

She wants it all to make sense.
But some things don't.
Some things never will.

Why did the young woman who gave her up,
too young to raise a baby alone,
end up raising another child alone
as the not-much-older widow
of a man who killed himself?

Why did she go through adolescence
feeling guilty about sex
without ever having it?
Why did she wait,
thinking virtue would be a shield?

She wants it all to make sense.
But some things don't.
Some things never will.

When you knit a plain scarf,
Things are simple.
You count the stitches;
You follow the pattern,
Go back and forth
Across the rows,
Knitting, maybe purling, too,
Until you reach the end.

It's methodical.

But add the element of lace–
Yarn over, slip slip knit,
Pass slipped stitch over–
And you may reach the valley
Of the shadow, the place
Where you cannot tink back.

In the hospital, on a gurney,
Prepared for the procedure,
She could not turn back.
As badly as she felt,
As sad as the situation was,
She could not unknit the stitches.

Sometimes things are such a mess.

She looked at the ceiling,
Found a pattern in the squares,
Checked the clock on the wall.

Her doctor, a familiar face,
Looked serious, he always did.
Respectful, she thought, of me
And of the situation.

The anesthesiologist smiled,
Kindly, reassuringly, told her
"Picture yourself on a warm beach.
The sun is shining. Now count…"

Ninety-nine, ninety-eight, ninety-seven…

She hears people shouting, screaming.
She scrambles for her cell phone.
Nine-one-one. Gives the license number.

She wants it all to make sense.
But some things don't.
Some things never will. 

17 thoughts on “Some Things Never Will”

  1. I want to say
    incredible.
    But I can’t–
    because it is so very credible:
    a credo.
    Each line echoes (and
    knits) the shadows
    and patterns
    of belief.
    Reading it, we too believe.
    Help our unbelief.

  2. Wow, oh wow. The way this circles with the tail end of a desperate situation, the theme of wanting things to make sense, the way that ties into the speaker’s life, and then back to the original situation . . . it’s just brilliant. Truly,.

  3. Words fail me…as I read your words flowing – sometimes mighty, sometimes meandering – like a river through life.
    thank you

  4. As stated by all of the comments that precede mine, I too am moved and speechless in a positive, contemplative way. You’ve confirmed why it is that I turn to your blog for inspiration and spiritual nourishment. I remember that you wrote something about feeling that you needed to work on your poetry a while ago. Apparently you’ve found your voice, if only for today! 🙂 As you say, some things will never make sense, while others might make sense to us at certain points in time, while at others we slip in and out of understanding. Echoes of the cycles of faith and doubt.

  5. speechless.
    big sigh with tears in eyes.
    oh, what a gift and truth teller you are, of all that is beautiful and terrible and real and unreal and human.

  6. It’s beautiful, and brilliant, and tight as a bowstring, Songbird. I’m so, so, glad to be able to read your words.

Leave a Reply