“I will not die,” “Wednesday,” and “calendar”

In Issue 68 by Esme DeVault

Image
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

I will not die

last Wednesday night

on the phone 

you said

I want my kids 

to know you

as you leaned toward

the darkened future.

I tell you my son,

and I mean it so–

do not worry 

for I, 

I will not die.

most certainly

this suitcase

of flesh and bone

that I now travel in

will someday–

perhaps sooner than later–

cease,

it’s  framework battered,

cracked, and broken

but me,

the I of me–

I, I will not die.

my DNA

that secret code of my biology

is safe inside you.

as long as you live,

I will not die.

my physiology–

my eyebrows

my tilted smile

my cheekbones

these are written all over your face.

the fibrous threads

tying together 

the worldly things

that I love–

the ocean, 

the stars,

the first morning light 

these strands

are woven in your heart 

my words–

some harsh

some bright

tumble easily from your mouth

even now, so soon

I hear me in you.

do not be afraid my son

I will always be–

here and there

now and then

I, I will not die.

later–

I will guide your hand 

as you stir the pot.

my eyes, through yours

will glimpse the bluebird on the branch.

I’ll smell the salted ocean’s breath

each time you inhale.

and laugh aloud with you

at nature’s wondrous beauty.

and embrace your loves 

each time you hold them tight.

I am not going anywhere 

my son–

for I,

through you,

I will not, 

I cannot,

die.

Wednesday

on Wednesday

I notice

a black-eyed Susan

deep in the woods

alone

among the thorny shrubs.

calendar

I keep believing

I am only just turning over

to the Wednesday

of my life

half-way to something

still discovering

and uncovering

the days ahead.

if only believing

made this so.

by my mother’s calendar

I’m at 6 p.m. on Friday

a big night out left

then Saturday chores

and Sunday rest.

About the Author

Esme DeVault

Esme is a poet, attorney, and non-fiction writer living in Barrington, Rhode Island, with her husband and college-age son. Her poetry has appeared in Motherscope, Spadina Literary Review, Streetlight Magazine, Solum Literary Journal, Kissing Dynamite and numerous other publications. She is a former English teacher and academic reference librarian and has been running a book group at the women's maximum security prison in Rhode Island for 10 years.