Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Twenty-Two Months

Saturday was the twenty-two month anniversary of the earthquake. I've mentioned before how the twelfth of the month doesn't crush me quite as much as it used to. I started thinking about how that happens with any milestone; as it gets further behind you, the commemorations tend to get further apart.

Twenty-Two Months

At first you count every hour;
This baby is four hours old, you say.
And then it's days;
You were born yesterday!
For a while you count weeks
And then for a long, long time,
Each month you take pictures
And write special letters:
You're three months,
Six months,
Ten months
Fourteen months..
Until one day you realize
That you're only counting years.

I love you just as much, my child,
Even though I don't know
How many months old you are.

At first you count every hour;
Four hours ago I survived an earthquake.
And then it's days;
Days since I last slept peacefully,
Days since everything I thought was firm
Shook and fell apart.
Then it's months:
For almost two years the 12th of every month
Was the earthquake anniversary,
The first thing I thought of that morning,
My constant memory all day.
Three months ago,
Ten months,
Fourteen months...
Until one day you realize
That you're only counting years.

You changed my life just as much, earthquake,
Even though I don't think about you
Every single day.

A mom's precious twenty-two month old
Is someone else's grimy toddler
About to enter the terrible twos.

Twenty-two months since an earthquake
Sometimes feels like forever
But I never know what unexpected moment
Will bring back the sick fear,
The adrenaline,
The time when I counted hours, then days, then months.

Ruth, from thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com


Diane said...

Beautifully expressed!

Love you, Ruth!

Matsu said...

Greatly moving and deeply personal. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the earthquake and your ongoing recovery through your poetry.

Tricia said...

Wow - wonderful poem.

I remember counting/measuring days and months and so on. My firstborn was 100 days on January 1st, and 100 months old when he needed to turn in a 100th day project in 2nd grade. I don't think I was quite so mindful of the time with the others, though. I wonder if that would be the same with major disruptions like a natural disaster?