Annette, this was my "moment" poem in the PAD challenge. Let me know what you think. (We circle and circle around the big moments in our lives, don't we?)
In the drive-thru at Starbucks
I paw the barista's shovel
of a palm, looking for more change.
It's an instant that loops and loops.
I am completely outside myself
with grief, unfiltered sky overcast
as my blindspot, tunnel of air
between our Jeep and the siding,
smell of peat in the coffee.
Mom, says my son, gently, unlike
himself, saving rebellion for home.
His sister leans her cheek
against my arm, unsure what else
to do, trying to spark a small sun
of warmth. I see my strickenness
in the white's of their eyes. The barista
gives me the look of a zoo animal. Oh,
I say, I got my coin, withdrawing a hand,
paroxysm of giggles overtaking me,
a behavior that started in the sanctity
of church. Whenever I was pushed
to the edges of a pew, faith would strike
me funny. My kids can only see
my shoulders shaking, giggle roiling
unerupted. In their relief they forget
the embarassment of my laughter,
masks of worry falling to their laps.
My kids laugh along with the loud stranger
as we indicate back to the road.
Tears course a map down my face.
They've never seen me bereft before.
I've never attended the funeral of a sister
before or heard the ground dirt fall on her casket.