“When you recognize the childrenand find the Mother,you will be free of sorrow.” —Tao
My son is in the backseat. He asks for a story on the way to school.
I begin with immortality because there are bullets and I started this
morning reading about the abduction of a little boy, how he was buried
in his red jacket. My son has a red jacket and when he spreads his arms,
he looks like a ladybug scrawling air. His stuck out of the dirt like a flag,
but I cannot tell you what happened before the boy died. It will calcify
the tenderest parts of you. I know. His mother waited for twenty-seven years
believing, the whole time, that her son would be found and come home.
Every mother I know says, my baby, no matter how much time has passed.
Which is why I begin with immortality. I’m sure that she wrote his name
in black ink on the tag, quite certain it would be lost. Ensuring, when it did,
that it would be returned to her, with care.
Megan Merchant is mostly forthcoming. She is the author of two full-length poetry collections: Gravel Ghosts (available now through Glass Lyre Press) The Dark’s Humming (Winner of the 2015 Lyrebird Prize, Glass Lyre Press, forthcoming 2017), four chapbooks and a forthcoming children’s book with Philomel Books. She lives in the tall pines of Prescott, Arizona and teaches Mindfulness & Meditation at Prescott College.