Free Bird

There is an undertow pulling at the soul housed in my ethereal body too translucent to hold on.

Is she mine, that soul?  Or was she simply catching a ride?  A stow-away who looked so much like me I never noticed she was there?

Dusk and blue like bruises.  Or pink and rose like love.  Or maybe she was like the turquoise sea in my heart that felt a little more full with her there.

Did she only come to match my colors?  Or was there more for her to do?

If she was like my pain and made it big­ger, I had to surrender when that’s all I could feel.

And if she was like love swelling in my chest, I had to believe in miracles again.

If she came to hide inside me, a camouflage refugee shapeshifting to my likeness, I dread to imagine what drove such magic away.

And if she was an orphan searching for a home, she may have found the hole in my soul with the chalk outline and thought she could fit in the space.

Maybe she was wrong and now she’s moving out: too much grief to live with, crushing her like a shattered dream. 

She didn’t see it was there because it’s everywhere.

Maybe the Dream Killer found her after all, and now all she can do is fall, because that’s what you do when you die.

And maybe that’s why I’m bleeding inside, and gravity is thirsty for my waters.

Maybe it’s time to say goodbye to my daughter whose spirit remained for a mother’s love.

And maybe it is the gift of pain to drag us down to the underworld where the dead can dance at last and rest in peace.

Maybe I sink to see my girl safely to sleep in the sanctuary of all we remember.

Perhaps I weep to sing her the lullaby she needs to let me go.

Goodbye, Darling.  Don’t you cry.
Mamma’s gonna give you wings to fly.
And if my grief does bind your wings
Mamma’s gonna bury her heart in the ground
to set you free.  

Copyright © Sheyorah Naify, 2021

Art: Free Spirit by Nathan Miller.

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