Equalized, I, your mother, lacking a tree star,
String white lights on your crib, spurred by unbidden need
To show my fiercely loved firstborn a shine of truth,
Of bright welcome, in a winter stark with solstice.
Your infant eyes imprint. On. Off. Too soon I will
Live to rue that night, when I sit wondering "Will
He be back soon?" - the man I’ve married, he being
Father of the child conceived at summer solstice,
Cause of our shotgun wedding. You are born. My star
Alters course, shines on you. I am dazzled, in truth,
Astonished to feel such love. Wake urgent with need
To give it. Love bares my nipples. Burst-milk. Burp-need.
Shorthand-brain, gone to child. Happy? “Where there's a will
There's a way.” Damn cliche. Better avoid the truth
That one fuck does not a marriage make. “I'm being
So unfair,” I think, straightening the paper star
I've added to a plant brought indoors at solstice,
Substitute for a tree. Pagans worship solstice.
No more good Catholic girl. Husband doesn’t need
Any God but golf. My nights long as days. His star
On the rise. Oh so many rounds played. Nothing will
Interfere now. Infant? “Great, though, all things being
Equal, my dream's what matters most.” He told the truth.
I string lights, dispelling the dawn of that told truth.
Blinded still, by blaze of love gained since solstice.
“Blink and I'll miss a life I never knew. Being
Maudlin now,” I scold myself. And feel the need
To watch crib lights blink. Off. On. “Oh daughter, I will
Find some way, to steer you to safe harbor. Lodestar
I must seek.” And did, and failed to blast your dark star
From your sky. Alcohol, legal, took all your truth.
Circuits shorted. Life departed. You left no will.
Left me angry. Anguished. Eclipse swallowed solstice.
Battle lost, at forty years, to such lethal need
Fiercest loving could not breathe you back to being.
Christmas is no more. Will you remember your Star-
Turn in this world? Your death obscures the saddest truth,
Bleak as winter solstice: booze buries life in need.
Books and writing have helped shaped my life. Early, voracious reader: cut to the nun slamming my 2nd-grade desktop down on opened copy of Thomas Costain’s "The Robe." National Magazine Award nominee: cut to early 80s, listening without writing tools to the triple-murderer lifer who inspired the article. Founded WordWorth, ghostwriting service: cut to Philadelphia’s South Street, and the line for “Rocky Horror Picture Show” outside my storefront window. Published author, historical fiction, as "Blood Sisters" e-published as "Antoinette": cut to character driven inside story of the doomed Queen and the Princess who stayed her friend to the end. Nearly two decades with Borders and Barnes & Noble. Kept a journal all my life, which serves as therapy. Poetry writes me, more than the other way around; things elemental emerge best in metric structure.