Her Broken Heart

Photo by cjbggbella
Photo by cjbggbella

For her to grieve
for her to cry
for her to write wrenching poetry
for her to fall silent about
for her to rail against–question her determination to keep clear
of teenage sorrows

To embroil her
to embrace her
to yank her from her stance on the soapbox, wag a finger–a
fist–in her face to say, you are
human, none of us escape
to scathe her
to show her the beauty of human form in the shape of a boy

But I would wish for her as she
wished for herself, the fantasy
of gliding the gliding life
that never catches a snag
in the smoothing of fabric,
that glides and smiles, resides
in floating fluffy white clouds
and blue sky, that stays svelte
on mango milkshakes and endless plates
of cheesy spaghetti, would wish for her
an unrent heart,
would wish her to babyhood,

When she slid into the world, though–
her small body blue
and silent–I sat up, saw
between my legs
the blueness and silence, thought,
she’s dead–
quick hands whisked her
to the bright lights, the suction,
cleared her system and returned
a pink baby to my arms

Was she born still?

She was born still

She was not stillborn

Are we broken
from the start–
mended in the bright room’s corner
by clever hands and rubber bulbs,
by simple physics,
opening a channel,
soldering a seam—
pasted, patched, band-aided
bits and pieces, fragments?

A broken heart–
Shattered? Easy shards
to glue? Along a hem–
a quick stitch to fix?
Or in the center, rending
woof and warp?

Elastic, plastic, brittle–
Broken is brittle–
it will not return alone,
dig out the sewing kit,
thread the impossible needle

But how do I enter her chest?
Her heart deep below muscle,
sinew, ribs, round breast–
her magnificent and loving heart–
unmendable, fragile, brittle

Her broken heart–
for her to know she stands in a crowd, unmistakably here
among us, breathing and pink

Categories Poetry

Pamela Hobart Carter loves Seattle as much for its water and mountains as for its bustle and creativity. She explores the Emerald City daily while walking her dog. Carter used to be a teacher who wrote on the side. Now she is a writer who teaches on the side.

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