Every Day is a Sick Day

by Fran Gerstein


When your child dies
every day is a sick day.
An invisible wound
resonates from middle of your body,
radiating emptiness
to your extremities.

People around you are unaware
of its presence.
But you feel it while
laughing or despairing.
It is part of you now.

You don’t take off work
nor suggest
rescheduling a dinner date,
even though
you are unwell.
Your illness
is so chronic,
it makes no sense
to rearrange things.

It is hard to take off your pajamas
and begin your day now.
When you used to get up
you felt either hope or
trepidation for what lay ahead.
The details of the day overwhelmed you.
But you jumped in the shower
with a carpe diem attitude.

Now you long for that sort of naivete
and the banal problems that worried you so.

When you wake up
you must experience, anew
this hole inside of you.

You will bear it
for the rest of your life.

It is your nature to heal.


Published in AfterTalk Oct. 5, 2017