ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem was written outside the prompt calls, and sponsored by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "grief / grieving" square in the Birthday Bingo Fest public card. It belongs to the Danso & Family thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem deals with past parental death and teen mourning. You may need kleenex.


"Finding the Tears"

 


Danso sat on the porch, staring glumly
at the back yard while Hadyn and Lakia
scampered over the greening grass.

"You look pretty down today," Hannah said.

"Yeah," Danso admitted.  There was
no point trying to hide the obvious. 
"It's my mother's birthday.  We always
used to spend the day together.
I miss her a lot."

"Of course you miss her," Hannah said.
"It's okay if you feel like crying."

Danso shrugged.  "I'm sad but ...
sometimes it's hard finding the tears, you know?"

"Would you like to visit the cemetery?"
Hannah offered.

"Yeah, but that's halfway across the country,"
Danso said.  "It's not really practical."

"I know a lot of soups," Hannah said.
"Do you want  to go?"

Danso nodded.

"Go get your coat.  Spring weather
is chancy," said Hannah.  "I need
to make a few calls before we leave."

In a surprisingly short time, Danso 
found himself in coat and boots,
waiting for a teleporter friend of Hannah's.
Amada had all the kids piled in the living room
to watch some cartoon movie in Spanish.

The teleporter turned out be a young woman
called Hopscotch, who took Danso and Hannah
not to the cemetery but to a flower shop.

"I thought you might like to pick out
a nice bouquet," said Hannah.

"Tulips," Danso said immediately.
"Red ones and yellow ones.
They were her favorites.  We used to
have some lining the walk to our house."

The florist bustled around making the bouquet,
and soon they were off to the cemetery.

Hopscotch waited politely on a bench
while Danso and Hannah walked down
the long row of headstones to find the right one.

Danso hadn't even seen it since the funeral.
His uncle wouldn't bring him back, claiming
it was too much trouble for no real purpose.

Hannah had found Danso a nice counselor, though,
who said that sometimes it helped to go back
and revisit the past for something called "closure."
Danso wasn't sure it would work, but it was worth a try.

"Hi, Mama," he said softly.  "Happy birthday.
I brought you some tulips."  He bent down
to lay them on the rain-wet grass.

His throat felt tight but the tears wouldn't come,
and he didn't know what to say.  Danso
wriggled his toes inside his new tennis shoes,
the crisp black-and-tan canvas already
getting damp from walking through the grass.

"I'm doing okay in school," Danso said,
because she had always asked about that.
"It's hard because I missed some, but
I'm catching up.  I made some new friends."

Then he held out a hand to Hannah,
who came near and took hold of his fingers.
"So um ... this is my new mom.
She's looking after me and ...
I kinda picked up a bunch of littler kids.
They're really cute; you'd like 'em.
I just wish ..."

Danso's voice trailed away.
I wish you could have met them.
I wish you were here
.

But if Mama were here,
then he never would have met
Hadyn, Lakia, Nathaniel, or Rosita;
Hannah and Aidan; Rosita's whole family;
even Noah at school.

Danso still missed his mother fiercely,
but he would hate to have missed
the other people who now made up
so much of his life.

He sighed, uncertain what to do next.

"If you're done for now, would you mind
stepping back for a bit?" Hannah asked. 
"I'd like to talk to her, mother-to-mother."

"Sure," Danso said, strolling away to another grave
where someone had left an interesting bouquet
of purple hyacinths and something orange
that he couldn't identify.

From there he could see Hannah crouching
in the damp grass beside the grave, although
he could hear nothing of her low voice until
the wind shifted to bring the last snippet,
"... take care of him for you."

And that was how Danso finally found his tears.

* * *

Notes:

Hopscotch (Allison Powell) -- She has blonde hair, hazel eyes, and fair skin.  Allison enjoys traditional girl games such as jumprope and hopscotch.  She learned preparedness and wilderness skills in the Girl Scouts, and still volunteers with the Activity Scouts.  Sometimes she plays the role of The Antagonist in presentations to teach citizens how to interact with supervillains.  Allison works full time at the Eastbord SPOON base, mostly providing transportation to other soups and sometimes victims.
Origin: Her powers grew in gradually during childhood, as she tried to reach higher and higher while jumping or swinging.
Uniform: SPOON uniform.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Activity Scout, Good (+2) Agility, Good (+2) Family Ties, Good (+2) Girl Games
Powers: Expert (+4) Teleportation, Good (+2) Flight
Motivation: Lend a helping hand.

* * *

Tulips are popular for floral bouquets.  Yellow ones symbolize cheerful thoughts, and red ones are for perfect love.

Closure is a way for the mind to understand that something is finishing and no longer requires active attention.  Finding closure is a necessary part of the grieving process.  There are ways to find closure and renew your life after a loved one's death.

Flower colors have their own meanings, such as purple for success and orange for satisfaction.  Purple hyacinths represent sorrow.  Peruvian lilies, which come in orange, stand for devotion.  A quirky yet thoughtful bouquet like this might be for a favorite boss who liked to think outside the box. 

I found mine

Date: 2014-10-24 11:33 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
So glad Hannah makes the extra effort for /each/ kid. They're all different, and need different things.

Danso is in good hands.

Still a bit choked up; this one resonates particularly strongly with me.

Thanks.

Re: I found mine

Date: 2014-10-25 02:11 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
>>There's stuff Danso needs to go back and deal with before he can be optimally solid for other folks to lean on.<<

And helping him do that, rather than just muddling through, makes Hannah /spectacular/ as a parent.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-10-25 03:04 pm (UTC)
lynnoconnacht: Little bear holding a heart with the text "Sending love to you" (sending love and hugs)
From: [personal profile] lynnoconnacht
"You may need kleenex" mey be a bit of an understatement. ^-~

But that was beautiful and so sweet. There's a lot of sadness to it and the ending, though hopeful, tears me up with all the feels.

Like dialecticdreamer said, so glad Hannah makes the extra effort for all of them. She does it well too. Watching the dynamics unfold in this strand is beautiful and I love how powerful the sense of chosen-family is.

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2014-10-26 10:47 am (UTC)
lynnoconnacht: A brown-haired girl in a gingham dress looking at the viewer over her shoulder. (Default)
From: [personal profile] lynnoconnacht
Well, I wanted to warn without being too heavy-handed about it. Some folks are really sensitive, and others don't cry even when Bambi's mother dies.

You did. ^_^ (I think I saw Bambi once. NEVER AGAIN. Never.)

Yay! That's what I was aiming for. Death is sad for those left behind, but it's a natural part of life, not something to shy away from. Give yourself time to mourn, find company you consider comforting, and move on when you're ready to.

Exactly. ^_^ No trying to force someone to move on at your pace. (This poem followed fairly closely on me seeing a film that did exactly that and... Yeah. This is so much better and more positive.

That's good to hear. Raising five superkids is hard work! But so rewarding.

Raising five kids is hard work, period. ^_^ I am in awe of Hannah's parenting skills. She's amazing. ^_^

(no subject)

Date: 2014-10-25 03:35 pm (UTC)
helgatwb: Drawing of Helga, holding her sword, looking upset. (Default)
From: [personal profile] helgatwb
Beautiful.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-10-25 04:07 am (UTC)
mdlbear: (rose)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
Oh, my!

Danso's not the only one who has trouble finding tears. Gleep.

*hugs*

Date: 2014-10-25 04:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
One reason for writing sad or bittersweet things is so that people will have them to use when they need to cry but have trouble getting started.

Re: *hugs*

Date: 2014-10-26 12:10 am (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
Not sure I'll ever find it easy, or even possible. Hopefully I won't have to for at least a few more years.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-10-25 03:11 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Oh, my. Yes, Kleenex warning required.

~Anony-Mouse

Thank you!

Date: 2014-10-26 06:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
I'm glad you found this so touching.

grave matters

Date: 2016-09-30 03:34 am (UTC)
callibr8: icon courtesy of Wyld_Dandelyon (Default)
From: [personal profile] callibr8
You were right about the kleenex. *goes to find more; current box just ran out*

I was already in tears before the last few lines; it intensified at that point because it's eerily parallel to exactly what my partner said when he accompanied me on a visit to my dad's grave in 2015.

>> he could hear nothing of her low voice until
the wind shifted to bring the last snippet,
"... take care of him for you." <<

T's words were, "... take care of her for you, sir."

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