Time to Heal

People said only time will heal this gaping wound. I wonder how much time. You lived ten weeks. Such a short time, But you changed my life more than anyone before or since. When you first died, every minute seemed like a year without you. I was surprised the sun rose the next day, surprised I took one more breath. I watched the hours pass and counted the days. One day since you died. One week since you died. One month since you died. One year since you died. Tears flush the wound, their waters life-giving. Eight years since you died. Plenty of time to heal. Slowly I build a life without you. Even as my arms ache for your warm body, as I long for the small of your clean skin, I begin to hope and smile again. People were right. Time does heal the wound, but no one told me about the scar. A scar that, even with the passing of time, tears open now and then. It opens at a glance of a sensationalized headline: “Suspicions Surface in Cases Termed Sudden Infant Death” Sobbing shakes my shoulders; tears salt my coffee. Really, I cry for Mikey: I cry for what is lost, for a little boy who in my head, grows with my family. I cry remembering a gray body laid out like a cross I cry and my face drags itself down, Quivering into its familiar frown.

-Kathy Whelan