2/52: More Weight

January 4, 2014

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So this may be cheating, since I actually wrote this poem over a month ago. I was on a plane heading to my grandmother’s funeral in Hawaii. The idea had actually come to me a bit earlier, when my wife and kids were up in Spokane and I was alone at home. For months, I had grown accustomed to waking up at around 4 am to comfort a restless Elliot. We would carve out a space on the sofa and sleep for a couple of hours before I had to go to work. When I was by myself, I started experiencing anxiety in the morning. At first, I was puzzled by this because I used to experience these feelings all the time, but felt like I had evolved to a higher plane of security. The time apart made me realize that the touch of my son had been like a ground wire for anxious feelings to travel. We had achieved a soothing symbiosis.

The title comes from a line by the character Giles Corey in “The Crucible”. Refusing to plead guilty, Corey is pressed to death via rocks piled onto wooden planks. His dying words are “More weight!” At first, I probably looked at 4 am wakeups as cruel and unusual punishment, but upon realizing that they would disappear someday, I felt the need to preserve the feelings of unexpected serenity.

Please tell me that
I will remember these mornings
When each of your
Measured ounces
Press upon me
Adding stone on stone
To explore love’s depths
While keeping anxiety
Far from the surface

Please tell me that
The rivers flowing
From your mouth
Will seep under skin
Carving caverns
To return to
In hollow times—
Revisiting whispers
And echoed ghosts

Please tell me that
I won’t forget
Your radiant warmth
As each sunrise
Comes closer to the last

Assure me
Or I fear
I’ll turn to ash
Like feathers in the sun

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