Solstice

In every birth a death

Every choice, an abandoned path.

The longest day can only lead to the longest night.

 

Three years ago I laboured through this hot solstice night

to birth my second child.

We lay dog-exhausted on crumpled sheets in the morning light,

my firstborn squealing his rapture, naming his brother over and over.

 

Today we saw an angler cast his line out over the sea

Gossamer whip, it wrapped itself around a passing gull.

The fallen bird struggled in the water, knots tightening.

Few paid attention, but my older son was ferocious about saving it, so

we ran around trying to find a way.

As we prepared to swim out, the gull was swept beyond our reach.

My bear-hearted boy wept and wept.

 

Brilliant stars tonight.

I listen to a solitary gull chick calling for its parent.

Cats coil around me to soothe my remembering, and

I give thanks for this living and dying, and living.

 

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