MamaBlogger365 – Limbo by Julie Ann Cook


My Christmas tree is still standing,
still lit, this January twenty-eighth;
while popcorn garland is staling,
the branches droop with the weight

of this past December. I am
not ready to pack it up, to bare the limbs,
to wind up the strands of lights,
and put away the ornaments,

not ready to move on, though
your tiny urn has been buried
in the winter cold of burnt sienna
Carolina clay. This is a strange dance:

bending backwards, swaying,
trying to maintain balance
and a smile. Island music plays
somewhere, not here. I am

in limbo. But I take comfort
knowing you are not: I thank
the pope for his holy reassurance
that tradition is not faith.


Bio: Julie Ann Cook is a happily married, joyfully outnumbered mother of four boys, one who was stillborn at 20 weeks. Between assisting in living room railroad construction and addressing concerns of who would win in a fight between Megatron and Iron Man, Julie is an author, artist, and webmaster. Only with the loss of John Blaise, her fourth son, did Julie gain perspective on the number of women who belong to the “strange sisterhood” of mothers who have not had the opportunity to raise a child they conceived. She now promotes awareness about miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant death in hopes that others dealing with this loss may find comfort and healing, and friends and families may learn how to better support grieving families. Julie’s writing has appeared in various publications including the Kakalak Anthology of Carolina Poets, moonshine review, and The Wolf. She is currently working on a collection of poetry focusing on motherhood, and she blogs at Digging Cheese out of Carpet in her *ahem* spare time.

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