Things That Make Us Cry


From inside my kitchen, looking out across

someone’s yard & a parking lot & that busier

street near an intersection, at certain times

of year, certain hours of night, something about

how lit up that empty stretch, I’m convinced

just now how that one room with the glass brick

wall curves turret-like, convinced that there was

where my son was born, in that room of reflection,

refraction maybe, those windows holding onto

precious—what I’ll call light, but is really how

I feel about my son who is these days studying

me while I drive, asking about love & the road,

& who tonight I’m missing so much I can’t look

at the hospital without aching a little. The truth is

he was born down a long hall, & in the new wing,

which this isn’t, & that room is likely an office or

a closet, poorly insulated, not fashioned for the kind

of labor that sometimes delivers a child, if there’s luck

& science, all the ordinary miracles, which he was

& still is. Tonight, only blocks away, he’s just a little

west, nudged north, beyond that building, away

from me. If I stood awhile on the back-porch steps

in the wind at this hour I’d swear I could hear him turn

over in sleep. Which I can’t. Not really. Not from here.

Just now if anyone asked me to tell something

about motherhood I’d look up & if those soft lights

were casting that window yellow like they are tonight,

I’d say this.

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