For her, my mother and friend
Can you believe it’s been a year?
she says, and no I can’t
since my father passed away
and life kept on with its same firm rhythm,
a year since I felt my heart split
a seam I’ve tried my damnedest to fill since then,
when it seems only yesterday
I was inviting him to the window
to admire a delicate white storm
“I’ve seen snow,” he says tiredly, motionless
And I know now it won’t be long
Can you believe it’s been five years?
since the youngest left high school
and growth was no longer measured by
accomplishments or certificates
but by how many obstacles life would present
to overcome; the girls, they get older
but their hands still fit perfectly in mine.
They remind me of what I had wanted
to be at their age, of what you can hope for
when your heart is still
more open than it is hard.
Sometimes I can hardly believe my hair
has not yet blanched
from all the fear of what has unfolded for me
I cannot believe half a life awaits me still.
Sometimes my bones are so tired
I can feel them nodding off inside,
hear them humming lullabies
as they rub music from each other.
Can you believe it’s been years?
When sometimes it feels as though I have dozed off,
and woken to find myself here
facing a reflection that has my eyes.
Sometimes I am older
than even Time can account for,
and when I lie down and wait for sleep
I find my mind full
of things I had never wanted to know. But
sometimes I am always eighteen again
with one foot out the door
And no concept of letting go
Chanel Fernandez is a twenty-four year old alumna of Rutgers
University’s Douglass College, working for a living by day and
living for her work by night. Her poetry has been published in
Mosaic, The Art and Literary Magazine of Douglass College and
the New Brunswick Public Library’s 14th Annual National Poetry
Month Celebration Anthology.