God placed you with an “unfit mother”
Providence, fate, or biology graced you with a twin
In another time and place her autism would’ve been attributed to devils
If they do exist they took your older sister in that car accident
Child Protective Services placed you with Joy Heaven
Joy sent you to learn the truth about providence, fate, devils and God
To Heaven Joy sent you; if there really is a God
surely you are finally in the arms of the perfect mother
the arms of love the arms of wholeness, forgiveness and joy
Give her this day a daily shred of hope for a twin
Left alone in the wake of this heinous accident
If this confirms any existence than surely it is a devil’s
We really don’t like to believe much in devils
But when devils grin we like to hope that there’s a God
Emily, as far as I can see not chaos or design not plan or accident
can account for what has happened to your mother
or for the pain that now belongs to your twin
God must be because nothing else could ever bring them joy
The public is crying out for the execution of Joy
They are accusing her of being possessed with devils
But murder can’t be made right by calling on its ugly twin
Capital punishment betrays our lack of faith in God
Or maybe just lack of love from our own mothers
Joy’s death won’t restore their joy or undue the accident
Emily, did we get here by accident?
Have you found answers? Have you found joy?
From you vantage point can you see your foster mother?
Can you see angels? Can you see devils?
Or do you see them all like we see God
Just as obscure as the ultrasound photo that confirmed twins?
You went from ultrasound to autopsy leaving a twin
Leaving only five short years between birth and horrific accident
Only a specialist can read an event like that and somehow still see God
But only a vivisectionist could look and not hope for joy
for you and Joy and for the death of death and devils
for heaven or new earth ‘cause this one could never be our mother
goddamn it, she had family, she had friends, she had a twin
she had two far less than perfect mothers isn’t that enough accident?
Destiny’s clandestine chance is absurd but for Emily true Joy a must and for devils what they deserve
I usually offer very little explanation for my poetry. Most of my poetry is deeply personal, an invaluable outlet for me. I don’t mind posting it for friends and strangers. But if either friend or stranger reads it and judges me from afar without actually entering into life’s dance with me in person, I suppose I would rather be judged on form rather than content.
But this piece is not for me. It is for a five year old girl whose funeral was today and for the family she leaves behind. I am most comfortable in meter and rhyme. I wanted even the structure of this poem to display my complete uncomfortably. Still it will be obvious that some of the questions therein about God and how the world works are my own wrestling with my faith in the face of senseless evil and suffering. If something here strongly conflicts with your dogma: your religious beliefs, your anti-religious beliefs or whatever else, please, this is not the place to correct me or anyone else. And if you have nothing but hate and can wish nothing but punishment without restoration for the foster mother, I would prefer you express that elsewhere as well.
This is me trying to move toward understanding trust in God’s goodness; the debt is not mine to forgive. And I do not pretend to begin to understand what must be an almost insurmountable task for those whose debt it is to forgive. But I hope someday they can. And I hope, I really hope and am trying to believe that Emily is safe in the hands of God.