WE BUILT A CATHEDRAL

Part of the THIS IS THE MOMENT series.

We Built a Cathedral –A poem by Michelle Payette-Daoust

 

Thoughts about the marriage I have let go of

and words to the husband who, like me, continues to move on…

 I look at my hands,

thinner and made darker and damaged by chemo:

These are not the hands you knew.

I look at my body, frailer,

and hiding just beneath the skin of my upper right chest, a port for chemo:

This is not the body you knew.

I  look at my life, now lived in this country town,

in this new house in which I feel no ghosts, no memories, no shadows and no sadness:

This is not the home we knew.

 

On a clear and cool September day in 1980, I said—

filled with tender love and hopes for the life that awaited us—

I will love you always, till death parts us.

 

These vows,

taken and uttered with such purity of heart,

have not weathered time and storms and exhaustion.

 

We built a cathedral that we cannot live in together

—our family—our magnificent sons and grandchildren;

yet it stands, solid, sacred and majestic. It inspires many.

 

I am sick. My time may be short.

Here is my life. It did, and didn’t, go to plan.

In most ways though, it chimes. It rings. It peals. It tolls as loudly as it ever did.

It resonates in me and through me, transcending the birds.

 

Allen, Kathleen; The Last Bus; Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/the-last-bus-54609

AT ANY REMOVE

I hear and read a lot about

our enslavement to technology—

especially to our smart phones.

I call them that without irony in spite of what people say.

 

There’s a photographer who wanted to

show us how lonely

we’ve become, how alienated from

each other,

by having people pose—couples,

families, friends and lovers—

holding invisible phones.

He called his project Removed.

Seeing the cleverness in his black and white photos, people began

sharing them on Facebook, on Twitter,

virtually every which way;

which did seem ironic to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I placed my smart phone on the kitchen counter

after work today, while I was preparing supper.

It didn’t take long for its black screen to light up and then

it buzz-buzzed as it vibrated.

It was one of my three sons, messaging in, interested

in the day I had, and wanting me to look

at something he’d written; happy to HAHAHAHAHAHA

and emoji in response to

a funny photo I took of the inside of the dishwasher

(there’s a private story there)

 

We were conspirators in real time,

he in his apartment and me in my kitchen, and I just know

that we were both smiling in real time, and I thought

how wonderful my small black phone is to bring

my beautiful son right into the kitchen next to me,

and just then, his younger brother, working way up

in the Arctic, at 72° 15’ 00” N / 80° 30’ 00” W,

(which is easily found on your GPS-enabled phone)

began texting me too. Bzzz-buzz-buzz

 

Thanks to my smart phone, my sons

were no longer at

any remove at all.

 

August 29th 2017