Christmas 2018

My warrior,
.
Just as I said today
to aching little feet
on unstretched legs
that had walked miles
as they collapsed in
the snow, again
and again
and again
.
“No. We will not lay down
and die.
Our family doesn’t give up”
.
And though his legs ached
and his limbs froze
along with his tears
.
He looked up at me
and said
“I’m not giving up.
We don’t give up, do we Mum?”
.
And after we were
warmed and fed,
she said –
“Please Mum, my legs
still hurt – I cannot walk
Don’t make me. Please can
we get a taxi?”
.
And as she said it
One manifested before us
I said yes.
.
Not knowing
In that driving snow
That I was early
and what I was giving up
For all of us
.
This is the story
of every day of my life
My lived testimony
dressed by others as excuses
.
Every day I live it
Every day I look for you
Every day I see you
Everywhere and in everyone
Your eyes are painted on the walls
Your footsteps on the stones
But I never see you
I seldom ever see you
Although I always look
.
Then on days like this
I feel anxiety and dread
For the injustice
of your lonliness
For the daylight robbery
of our future
Never for me
.
Sad as I can be, I
never feel bad for me
I only feel guilty
I take the brutality
of the serendipity
upon my own shoulders
as if it is my fault
Always, my own fault
.
As if every missed
opportunity, is my fault
.
And I agonise for you
.
I hold the weight
of your inconvenience
your embarrassment
though no one ever
said my name
Though no invite
ever came
I carry the shame
.
I carry four bruised hearts
Every day we are apart
And I still drag myself up
and try again
.
And again
And again
Because this family
doesn’t give up
.
It was four years ago
I wrote:
“I don’t need what is new
to decipher you”
I wrote those words
with a hopeful heart
A devoted heart
and two years ago
I began to decipher you
I began to prove it
.
Rejuvenating what the
corrupt posture stale
going beyond the pale
for illumination
of a generation
.
It was three years ago
I warned:
“The price of what you hide
is that it remains hidden
and the true risk;
that the most gorgeous gifts
go ungiven”
.
I wrote those words with
a broken heart
a devastated, violated
seemingly abandoned heart
that I set aside
to mend in time
.
Because this family doesn’t give up
.
I can’t count the borders
on my fingers and toes
Just as I can’t quantify
the love that grows
and grows
and grows
no matter the indignity
.
the rarity
and ingenuity
makes it so natural
makes it easy
.
If I counted my love for you
in frostbitten digits
in numbed extremities
in near misses
in late or early minutes
or in close calls
I would be forever encumbered
by that number
.
So I let it go
I let it all go
and no matter what
I try again
and again
and again
.
Because this family doesn’t give up
.
They say blood is thicker
than water
but blood has nothing to do
with what stands between you,
your son and your daughter
.
Only pride and a carefully manicured
public life stands between
you and your wife
and your son and your daughter
.
I wanted to give you
an egg for Christmas
An egg within me
.
But instead of
wrapping your gifts
in my skin
I had to wrap them in words
.
In poetry
.
That I remain capable is
in itself, a victory.
.
Even if it isn’t taken seriously –
It may not seem enough.
.
But it is all the real me
and this family doesn’t give up
.
Even now I wonder –
will my truth be rejected?
Too many times I’ve been
Selected and deselected.
But I can’t make decisions
on capitulation
to what I know is wrong
.
Not telling the truth is
the most counterproductive
thing we’ve ever done
.
As soon as we learn to
overcome
this bitter war
will be won.
.
We shall, we shall
overcome
.
This bitter war will be won
.
Because our family doesn’t give up
.
.
.