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After the Aftermath
I think of the ways we got it wrong. All the things we didn’t know. Who did it — and why — where it was done and how we can think about the Lord’s Prayer as thirteen ways of looking at a tragedy. There are many scientific strategies for finding the bodies, radar that penetrates dirt and signs left by scavenging insects. Sometimes the earth is disturbed, maybe a mound or a place where the soil is compacted. Sometimes we use dogs. It helps not at all that loss is a thing as old as night. What I really need is a way to build a shrine to the child not yet dead.
What I Do Now
I get up early to investigate the needs of the day. I turn myself into a wall, a blank, a separate thing. I give up being the key that fits their locks. I embrace new strategies: do not bargain, do not meddle, do not explain. Invisible rivers still flow between us, but I know they too have been granted a secret life.So I un-learn the way the one walks and the way her sister turns her head. About their hearts, I do not speak. Like apple trees they’ve sunk roots into their own meadows. Therefore: joy. Also, this vague disembodied grief. I must pack away my craving for their childish vulgar laughter.
Copyright 2022 Deborah Bogen. From Speak Now This Charm (Jacar Press, 2022).