Homecoming, a Custody Exchange Day Poem

I woke up to raindrops and my kids come home today.

The rushing winds and falling sky replenish the life the sun has stolen,

but the sounds of life on earth will be drowned out

by the sounds of life that tore through me.

They were each mine for a time then they were ours and now I have to share them

I have to trust they won’t be destroyed with the love that nearly destroyed me

The path of healing is steep and full of thorns that catch you when you aren’t ready

The first days of loss weren’t just my battle to rage.

The heavy bag swung and rattled with fury spent,

post rage teens were sobbing in my arms

Hands that reached for us and held us in love were forging pain with what they were given

There were no words to unleash the pain that was in hearts, under skin,

and we made raw knuckles and tender wrists excuses to cry

Thunder shakes the sky and ground in a mirror of the anger that I pray away late at night

when the only sounds loud enough to hear are the shifting landscape of a life we planned

and the growing pains from a life I can’t control right now

My kids come home today so I can be Mom and being a sister and daughter can wait

I will see faces I’ve missed and kiss cheeks and I will hold my babies.

I will inhale their scent and engrave the moment in my memory when they are with me

because those moments sustain me when my babies are away.

I used to fret over a night at Grandma’s, and now I endure 5 days at a time

I fill my bed with stuff as a placeholder, that was once a spouse and is now a child

sometimes he’s content with space

other times he lays on top of me, trapped in the comfort required in infancy at 9 years old

The thunderstorm rages its fury outside and for a few days

I won’t have to wonder if they’ll answer my call.

Respecting the boundaries they set, I tell them my calls are just to tell them I love them

because I know I’m loved I think I’m loved I may not be needed

I feel excitement and joy and worry and fear in the moments where the sun is hiding

the clouds pour out their burdens and the thunder announces its rage

at some point the clouds will disperse enough to let me know the sun was always there

a rainbow will cut the sky in hope and beauty

and my life will imitate the art of nature

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