I Call to the Ski Slopes of Breckenridge

I call to the ski slopes of Breckenridge;
I call to the trees on the slopes of Breckenridge;
I call to the snow and the ice hanging in their branches;
I call to the snow on the run and the melted layer iced over;
I call to my son, to my son in his thermal clothing, to my son
Twenty-five years old and snow boarding, headed into the trees.
I call to him to tumble off the board, not to worry
about looking clumsy, not to worry about finishing the run. 
I call and I call, but he does not hear me.

I call over the weeks between then and now
to the hospial and time of death:  3:30 December 28th 2000
but my son does not tumble where I want him to.

I call clear as the moon, single eye I howl beneath, a coyote
licking pebbles from a wound.  I call and I call.
The wound weeps holy water over my eyelids, hands,
knees, feet that carry me the rest of my days.

In the snow, I see sadness crystallize, hear my voice
force the follicles in my body to burst along their single seams,
spread seeds, the seeds I see in sunlight and my son
everywhere, everywhere I call.

Sheila Bender

Sheila Bender believes that writing poetry to help her grieve has been instrumental in coming to some peace concerning the tragedy of her son's death. Most days her heart is so full of love for him, however, it is as if he is still with her.

Sheila has written many books on writing.  She is a contributing editor to Writer's Digest magazine where she writes on the topic of personal essays and writing poetry.  She has a collection of poems out entitled Sustenance:  New and Selected Poems. 

Read more about her work on the web at www.sheilabender.com where you can also check out her writing ideas, information about workshops, books and ways to study with her by correspondence.