ARID HEART She walks among the grass and weeds hearing the crunch of land gone arid. The land is as dry and brown as her heart feels this day Her mind trying to wrap around all that has happened and all that is to come From abandonment as a child, molestation, death and dishonor the trauma in her life would be a best selling story in fact and in fiction for those non-believers. Yet, nothing, nothing compares to the last six months of her life life what a word , we banter it around without realizing what we are saying. Life, rife, strife, trauma , drama five words to define her entire 60 years. Yet, nothing, nothing compares to the last six months of her life. The call she received that started this nightmare echoes in her head over and over. All the subsequent calls to the detective, with always the same answer ‘nothing’ God her heart hurts and her faith comes and goes, the tears, the tears they flow without provocation. Her daughter passing six months ago on the 19th, her birthday on the 20th of this month. How do you cope with THAT she thinks, a child you carried under your breast, nurtured and nestled. A child you heard cry through the deepest of sleeps; which you needed so badly to find she just needed your touch. The first step; the first tooth all because you ate right, rested took your vitamins and loved her father. God’s plan came into play …to hear her cry or her laughter, something you only hear distant echoes of now in your mind. Passing a shelf or table with her picture, hearing a song you used to sing to or with her, God what were you thinking? as she turns to walk back. Hearing a cricket reminds her of the first time she showed her how to catch one and put it in the match box with holes for it to breathe. Telling her crickets are good luck and they help you sleep. Spraying her best perfume one night and Lysol the next under her bed to scare away the monsters ..”mommy don’t forget my closet” she calls as you walk out of her Barbie decorated room. Ahh the memories and now, now she, she is only half alive, trying to be strong for the rest of the family when all she wants to do is stand on a mountain top screaming. The chore she has immediately ahead of her is one of great apprehension; for she must go to her daughter’s home and sort through her things. Choosing memories for others. This walk of her life , her Life’s Journey as she calls it has taken many paths ; never, never any as long or arduous as this path, this journey of dread. God let me live through this let my heart survive, give me strength and understanding and faith to carry through.