Doorway of Beckoning
Death has a threshold
Death has a doorway
Doorway between here and there
Doorway between then and now
Now he’s crossed the threshold
Now I stand alone and apart
Apart from the life I dreamed of
Apart from twenty years more
More life and love and laughter
More touching and much more time
Time ran out for us far too soon
Time is endless and yet finite
Finite as the spaces between heartbeats
Finite as the first and final breaths
Breaths that slowed then stopped
Breaths I now take on my own
Own the rest of my life
Own the place on the threshold
Threshold he carried me over long ago
Threshold now between wife and widow
Widow a word I never wanted as mine
Widow a word to strange to define
Define a journey we used to share
Define the steps I will take from here
Here was a marriage seasoned well
Here was my heart my love my soul
Soul battered and bleeding with loss
Soul that must find a way to heal
Heal the hollow echoes of his lost voice
Heal the emptiness that wears his shape
Shape of my life now indistinct
Shape of edges amorphous and blurred
Blurred as the horizon seen through tears
Blurred as this suddenly alien reality
Reality stings with the depths of loss
Reality awaits for I am still alive
Alive and breathing heart beating strong
Alive and unable to simply remain
Remain on the threshold where he stood
Remain where he left me when he moved on
On with life and the stuff of living
On into the future a widow I now go
Go to where our children wait
Go forward on a different path
Path winding away toward something new
Path still unknown but beckoning
Beckoning me on to life my life
Beckoning me to what will now be
When I began the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, I hoped to keep up to date, posting each day’s poem and the musings that follow on the appropriate day.
However, this week, life’s doorway has led me on several journeys that have resulted in my scrambling to get this poem up a full day late – and I haven’t been on time once.
Starting on a Sunday was tricky. Sunday is the day my writing group meets, and April is the first CampNaNo WriMo month of the year, so it was rather a big day. More, a former member who relocated was visiting, so our night started a little early.
Monday brought an online class.
Tuesday, my daughter’s friend came – we met her mom halfway, so there was a couple of hours’ travel time in addition to the visit.
Early Wednesday, my son and I went grocery shopping – and our regular store was having their floors stripped. We ended up going to the next store, about ten miles from home. We’re not familiar with that one, so things took longer.
Wednesday night, we had a get-together to spend a bit more time with the visiting group member, and, after, a friend and I decided to check out the local health foods co-op. I had no energy for posting by the time I was home, and the purchases put away.
Today has been spent largely in novel writing, cleaning and organizing, and cooking…
What does all this have to do with today’s poem?
Well, life is for the living, and it tends to happen, whether we’re ready for it or not. Jim died, but I’m still alive, and, while the sorrow is still sharp and painful, life does keep on, and fills my days with…well, living, in all its lovely chaos. Sometimes I feel a little guilty about that – but I have a finite time left to live myself, and staying trapped on the threshold between life and death seems like it would be wasting this one wild and precious life I’ve been given.
And so I go forward, posting a bit late, not yet getting into the swing of visiting (though I have a plan!)…and living.
Please come back tomorrow, when I will be Exploring Emotional Terrain.
On a different threshold, at the other end of a marriage, August 23, 1997.