Published: Aug 30, 2012 12:54 PM
Modified: Aug 30, 2012 12:55 PM
(Julie Hester’s son John Coffman – “Jack” – died when he was four days old of a systemic infection. She wrote this poem in response to a prompt to start a piece with the line, “But walk slowly, and bow often” from Mary Oliver’s poem “When I Am Among the Trees.”)
But walk slowly, and bow often to the waves hiding schools of fish that dart across the crest.
Bow to the wind that blows sand across my ankles, stinging them.
Bow to the path for the sea turtle hatchlings, ready to bear them across the dangerous sand.
Bow to the pricklers gathered on the rug inside the door, a threshold to hold the pain.
Bow to the counter where food piles up, where we stand and drink wine and eat shared bits of our other lives.
Bow to the women in this room, writing ourselves whole.
Walk slowly on these weekends, and bow often.
Excerpted from “Farther Along: The Writing Journey of Thirteen Bereaved Mothers,” by Carol Henderson.
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