I am posting this raw, unfinished, unedited birthday…thing (poem? maybe someday). If you are a child, a judger, or easily shocked, you might want to just move on.
Edges dedicated to my friend Terry Perrell who demands I write, even without meth
On the waning edge of the sun’s highest day
On the waning edge of my mother’s great beauty
On the waning edge of a marriage
Edges seem to define my life, always
On edge, on the verge of some new
Project, argument, adventure
Sometimes over the edge, falling
Scrabbling, clawing for a hand hold
Or just falling, smiling, knowing that
The fall is the fun part
Having done it so many times before.
Here. This Day. This edge which leans
Me toward fifty, is a new one. Another waning,
Waning woman, invisible woman.
Waning color, everything emptying to gray.
Waning interest in the things and dramas of this world.
Leaning a little more each year toward spirit
the unseeable, the unknowable, searching for the next fall
over the edge. Wondering where I will land,
thinking maybe I can fly down this time,
land in the land of the Anasazi or the Cherokee
some mountain cove or canyon, with clear water
that makes a constant, soothing sound.
Here I will weave a blanket made of the stories
Collected along the way. Stories of Scottish rainbows,
Near death experiences and one of a walk with an English boy
On the day of my sixteenth birthday
In the Lake Country, which I didn’t take but wish I had.
Birth stories for my children, honoring stories for my grandparents,
Stories given to me as gifts, regifted so they will live
Beyond those who first told them. A story of my ancestor
Who ran blockade for the Confederacy and another, farther,
Who went to war at 13, a drummer boy, to be with his
father and who died making our country.
I will weave together the edges of our lives.
You will see the beauty of this blanket even as I
Become no more than the spirit trail, nearly invisible
Running through it, raw end hanging just a bit farther
Than any other at the edge so that the spirit within
Can escape and carry on.