My daughter has stopped throwing up, but she's still squirreled away in her bed, under a levee of blankets, pillows, and quilts. The bucket is still sitting on the floor. Her room is dark and a little funky. But she is on the mend.
There is nothing worse for a parent than not being able to make your child feel better, to just watch her cry and shiver and heave. It makes you feel absolutely useless, like you're being derelict in your duties.
Scottish poet Carol Ann Duffy, the Poet of the Week understands this.
Saint Marty does, too.
The Light Gatherer
by: Carol Ann Duffy
When you were small, your cupped palms
each held a candleworth under the skin, enough light to begin,
and as you grew,
light gathered in you, two clear raindrops
in your eyes,
warm pearls, shy,
in the lobes of your ears, even always
the light of a smile after your tears.
Your kissed feet glowed in my one hand,
or I'd enter a room to see the corner you played in
lit like a stage set,
the crown of your bowed head spotlit.
When language came, it glittered like a river,
silver, clever with fish,
and you slept
with the whole moon held in your arms for a night light
where I knelt watching.
Light gatherer. You fell from a star
into my lap, the soft lamp at the bedside
mirrored in you,
and now you shine like a snowgirl,
a buttercup under a chin, the wide blue yonder
you squeal at and fly in,
like a jeweled cave,
turquoise and diamond and gold, opening out
at the end of a tunnel of years.