My left hip

When my two sons left me for other women – and what exceptionally wonderful women my daughters-in-law are – I wanted to “release” them with a full heart in a way that would communicate all the things I was feeling on their wedding days…genuine joy and excitement for their future as well as a measure of grief over the loss of their childhood and the special relationship I had with them when they were very young. So I wrote each of them a poem and read it at the reception. Actually, I had someone else read the one for my eldest son because I didn’t think I could get through it without breaking down.

My children are a part of me, no matter how old they get or how far away they be. (Boy, I should use that in my next wedding poem.) But there’s another, different kind of part of me leaving me today and I feel the need to wax poignantly about this loss as well.

My left hip

In the depths of the earth you were woven within
You were part of me right from the start
From my very first step
nay, my very first sit
I depended on you, and your twin counterpart

When you’d move I would move, we were joined at the…you
Your strength and support made me free
I could run, skip, and dance, or just stand by the wall
I could walk up an aisle
Bounce a child on my knee

Without you my children would not have been safe
as they grew and developed within me
You protected and cradled them till they were born
Later gave them a seat
so my one arm was free

You were always right there, the best spot for my hand
when a camera was pointed my way
Or when some little stinker had snuck out of bed
Two fists on two hips
All I needed to say

How useful you’ve been closing drawers and doors
with a bump, and when you’re called upon
to make subtle moves in the grocery line
when Michael or Chaka
or Stevie come on

But over the years all my moves wore you down
The cartilage all but erased
So today I say thank you for all that you’ve done
No offense, you’ve been great
But you’re getting replaced

I’m not much of a poet, and not much for poetry neither since I find so much of it a bit obtuse. I just don’t get it. I like the quote from Groucho Marx: “My favorite poem is the one that starts ‘Thirty days hath September’ because it actually tells you something.” This little piece tells you something, but let me spell it out for you in case you’re like me. I’m getting a hip replacement today…might even be under the knife as you read this. I thank God for all the doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who make things like this possible.