at 3:30am you wake
with a feverish (but sleeping) child beside you
tell yourself to go back to sleep
but The List and all it’s have-to’s seep in to rouse you
before eyelids have their chance to shut it out

by 4 you give up fighting
brew coffee
grab your journal and a pencil
archeological tools for a delicate excavation
select teardrops have been falling
you don’t know why

all of these buried artifacts, so fragile
the slightest brush
a breeze
can blow dust to reveal some treasure
an aged clue

you uncover moments
like the day your dad pulled away in an empty station wagon
the note your seventh grade boyfriend gave you, saying he wanted to break up
the sound of the screen door closing when the pregnancy test strip turned pink
that dashing gentleman’s voice conceding, “Hon, raising a child is exhausting.”

you turn these shards over in your hands
piece together how they set a scene
look at the new development around you
wonder what to do with these old remnants

you know sometimes
it looks like love leaves

just when the dig seems it may reveal some answers
your feverish child stirs and needs you

he’s warm and weary but he’ll be OK
this flesh of his
the evidence beside you
that once you believed
that love was all that mattered
that it would be enough to stay

it’s easy at the excavation site
to see the broken pieces
scattering proof that you were wrong
life can’t be built on love alone

but as the sun begins to rise
and the journal needs to be shelved
that List is inching closer to the fore
you can’t help but put some hope into this day
that somehow
there could be a bridge
between the ancient history of lessons learned
and the evolution of new buildings in the making

that love lives in the foundation
it can infuse architectural plans
course through the hands
some hands
whose hands?
these hands
that are willing to stay and build it

Jessica Dofflemyer ~ all rights reserved

3 thoughts on “Unearthing

  1. Glad to discover your poetry talent,
    Hope to see you join our poetry potluck today,
    1 to 3 random poems or poems unrelated to our theme are welcome in case you fall short in doing a theme fitting piece.
    Bless you.
    Keep up the excellence.

    Hope that you had enjoyed a lovely mother’s day.


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