In a corner bedroom painted apple green
I found myself
rearranging river rocks on the shelf in pairs
as flares like the rivulets of an angry stream
lit by moonbeam heralded
thick thunder, which roiled
and quaked the house. My fingers
in my ear canals could not stop tremors
from flinching my shoulders into their cower,
shaking sleep from my limbs, and in the quiet
dark, I was afraid of summer.
As I am still
A not-as-small-as-he-once-was child shudders
inside under my ribs, wanting release. Foothills
of limbs roll and jab as I wonder whose
your nose is and what constellations of freckles
might array themselves on new skin.
But, in order to know you, my son, I must go
through pain, pain that empowers, others
say. I imagine it a little
like hiding in piles of stuffed
animals and holding back the thunder while it burns
around you. But, at some point you let it
in. This pain
leads to life, and I am
You are half of me and all yourself, and I worry
you will fear the dark. Oh, that I could lighten
the way for you, stand in the riverbed
to collect debris. I must learn to walk
beside you, your father’s arms the other bank
as you wind your way from me to Elsewhere.
Hannah Cole Orsag is a writer, editor, and dramaturg currently residing in Toronto, Ontario. She deeply loves discussing narrative and storytelling in all forms. Her work has appeared in Lee Review, Sun & Sandstone and interview blog Speaking of Marvels. Find her on Twitter @hannahorsag and at https://leavesoflorien.weebly.com.