Welcome to the Club

it’s not a club
anyone’s anxious to join
most of us would put it off
as long as possible though
some have been members since birth
 
no perks with this membership
no water bottles or grocery bags 
with colorful logos
 
No committees to join, no meetings to attend, but
membership is a lifelong commitment and we
pay for membership daily with
haunting reminders of why we’re here––
a voice in our dreams
our mouths without warning forming the words
“Close the door we don’t live in a barn”
 
familiar handwriting on a recipe card
white swans 
yellow roses 
clowns
our reflection in a mirror
 
a hand reaching out from sweater sleeve
the shocked realization the hand is yours
and yet 
it is not
 
In this club
holidays are hard
weddings, births of children, grandchildren
tinged in sadness 
 
I wish I could ply you with platitudes 
and cheap liquor
tell you it gets easier 
but that’s not true
I was inducted twenty-three years ago 
on a late Sunday afternoon
and each day since 
has been colored in rosy shades of loss
 
being a member myself
I wish I could say I know
or understand what 
you’re going through
that too 
is false
 
your relationship was unique
your loss is unique
but my heart calls out to you
one motherless daughter to 
another
 
Notes: 

Poem a Day Challenge: Day 11

This is off prompt. I heard yesterday that the mother of one of the poets in my community had died, and it brought up thoughts of my own mother's death, and how, although the pain is easier to bear, I'll never get over it.