Heart Happy (cathy_edgett) wrote,
Heart Happy

Good Morning!!

I have been reading a lovely book of poems by Cathy Song.   It is called Cloud Moving Hands. 

In many of the poems, she is saying goodbye to her mother.   I find this poem especially beautiful and comforting.




Cloud moving hands,

hand moving clouds –

in the water, boundaries shift,

the skin sheds its tight perspective,

stretched into a vast shimmering.

I enter the sea to the level

where my vision brims at the surface.

The position of swimmers and small

boats skim across the field,

supported by an imperceptible current.

On a platform a woman performs

a series of movements.

She seems to float yet remain

deeply grounded.

She appears to be walking on water.


With one kick,

I bob between earth and sky,

suspended in a blue globe,

gently rocking.

Everything is as it should be.

To leave the body

when it is time

must be like this,

nothing more than giving one’s self

over to what is always

holding us, the soft lapping.


My mother lies on her back,

compressed into a pocket of bones.

At the appointed hour,

nurses flip her to one side

and then the other, to release

the pressure such tiny bones

leave on the skin, sores

that leak like grapes.

When they roll her over, her eyelids

flash open like a doll’s.


I drift, and in drifting, think of her.

I surround her with a circle of light.

Out of this intention,

the girl who has smiled at me

from the picture on my desk

emerges, vibrant and lithe, just shy

of sixteen, a year before she is to meet my father.

She slips out of bed, hair curled, already

dressed, as if she has been waiting

for the signal.


She sheds the old body

like a nightgown she is sick of wearing.

She walks out the door,

down the sunlit hall, like a teenager

tiptoeing past her parents’ room.

Once safely by the nurses’ station,

she begins to run.


I am afraid in her haste

she will not remember me,

but she does.

She does remember.

She turns and waves.

and then, into the skylight

she leaves in earnest,

she exits,

swimming toward the big surface.


Clouds move hands,

hands move clouds –

gently lifted, gently supported.

Everything is as it should be.

I stroke through air,

I fly through water,

I send my mother home.  



-          Cathy Song





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