Imagine a balance
Or a see-saw
With a boulder resting on one side.
You are pushing down on the other
To even out the beam,
Pushing with your whole self, muscles
Or imagine you are trying to pull free
Or length of fabric trapped
In the earth under a mountainous rock,
Leaning back, digging in your heels,
You have been doing this for months
Longer than you can remember
So long you don’t remember
Or pay mind to the effort.
Then the fabric snaps
The boulder disappears.
The weight of the world changes.
You lose your footing,
Hit the earth with a thud
Of bruising flesh
As you try to make sense
Of a dense absence.
That is what it was like
When my mother died
And I realised all my striving had been anchored to her.
Now the heavy threat of her
By a disorienting weightlessness
And I am left sitting
As the trembling leaves my bones.
No need to keep pushing and pulling
As though the rock is still there.