Momma tells me on a Friday. All in one breath, she says he will spend the next fifty-five years locked away.
She spoon feeds a few more words: Beaumont, geriatric unit, a seven digit number.
The real shades of grey aren’t erotic and exciting they are cell blocks where no one knows your name. And no cares that you will be fifty-five this year come April. Simply day after day, grey.
I’m angry that Momma still carries his suffix hyphenated, hanging on. I wish she wouldn’t. When I hear her say it proud like it belongs stitched to the rest of her I know we’ll never be separate.
We are holding the phone, barely holding on. Because you can’t bury hurt deep enough, long enough.
She is sorry for me. I am sorry for him. Who knows who he is sorry for.
We are, the three of us, a DNA bond and that breaks any prison sentence. And this is the story we live today and all the tomorrows that will come behind.
And the only man whose blood is like mine is a drug addict and pimp and sex offender and a prisoner. And how do you ignore your blood line?
A friend gives me an article on grief. I smile, gaze back out the window to the clearing of trees where the homeless coddle on warm days like this. Strange how I want one of them to be him–free and here.
I don’t have the heart yet to read the article.
Pain is easy to escape if you want to lose the glory of peace. And the songwriter was onto something: that many things about tomorrow I don’t seem to understand.
That is peace for now. What he will eat, or drink, or wear, or cry, or be buried–those things that are pulling at the corners of my thoughts, I release with a breath. An invisible acceptance of today.
I fold the article in fours, tuck it away. I need to enjoy the happy of not having the end of this story. Because some endings are too big for our todays.
**We’ll get back to dreaming with the team tomorrow! Thank you for having this testimony, I could not bear this load without you!**