I think I’ve forgotten who I am.
Once I enjoyed Saturday trail rides,
parades at Christmastime, the Oyster Bowl,
Azalea Festival, grooming my mount,
dressing up like an elf or rodeo queen.
My entire life now is about taking care. I take care
of kids; husband; livestock; pets; house; yard;
the bills. I don’t take so much care of me.
This strikes me anew each year
the arrival of hunting season when my hubby
leaps out of bed at 3am to go freeze his ass off
in a tree for the negligible chance
of bringing home venison and all I can do
is make lame jokes about white tails luring him
into the woods.
I used to leap out of bed early,
saddle my horse and ride all day, outside,
in the weather and wide open air.
I’ve forgotten how to do that. Maybe
I don’t care about it any more.
And if I don’t care anymore, is there something
come to fill that void? Do I just use that
former ‘me time’ to take care of everyone else,
losing by degrees even more of the interesting,
sparky (not sparkly) woman I used to be?
Maybe that is what death is, not a final
finite thing but something which draws us,
an ending that comes by taking us apart
in little pieces until there’s nothing left at all,
not heartbeat, not breath, not a horse
prancing to the drumbeat of the
high school marching band, an end
no one notices because it wasn’t no much an ending
as a slow fade to gray.