the weight of silence

Lately I feel the loss of my mother, as her birthday approaches and my heart thumps in the echo chamber of her absence. It is the sound of her birthday song, which I cannot sing to anyone else, the way I cannot sing either of the cats’ songs anymore.

A wiser person would tell me Sing your own song. And it is half magic to hear the wisdom I need, just when I need it, without an actual wise person at my side sipping from a china cup. The other half is held breath. I don’t know how to do that; I’ve never had a song of my own. I guess I’ll learn by making mistakes, the way I learn everything else.

But there is a drumbeat. The creak of strings being tested and tuned. There is someone out there—no one from this house—who sets things to rights, who sees a bicycle on its side and stands it up against a tree, even though no one has claimed it for more than a month. There is another one of those crazy 2011 sunsets, Pinon pink and Black Mesa blue, singing together for a heartbeat before vanishing into the dark. There is a mad hunt for my shoe as I race to catch the last of the light, the bicycle, another weekend in the history books. There is a long exhale, and so much fear, but fear is more honest than happiness right now. Except for the love that others feel for me, everything else I have that matters has come through fear and made it. So will I. And on the way, I’ll make some noise.