Drownings

It’s easy for them to slip into the ice,

the big crack of nonjudgmental water,

absorbed entirely in the joy of now.

 

First winter blankets them, then the frost, 

the quiet, until the last of their woolens,

the black and red squares of their scarves,

their blue and pink pompoms trailing down

become the final gender reveal, the last

memory of their life that skates grief circles

in the frozen lake of their parents’ memory.

 

The water will lift their lost children

back into their parents arms,

the only mercy the lake will grant them.

 

Some will replace the weight of

their grief with other newborns.

They will watch them put on weight,

watch them weigh them down,

always keeping their new ones

from the cold weight of water.

 

The rest will dream every night

of the white cloth that covered

their small and silent bodies.

They will leave a light on hoping

their children will open the door

and come home again—

 

not lost

in the dark water,

come home again,

not lost

in the eternity

of their blue life.