To My Estranged Offspring
by Pia Taavila-Borsheim
Alas, dear loved ones, the door has closed.
Much time has passed, fraught with your silences,
devoid of all contact. Do you ever think of me?
I know nothing of your relationships, marriages,
and your children do not play at my feet. My lap
and arms long to hold their wriggling genetics.
Was my crime so grim? Is the chain forever snapped?
Will forgiveness never come? The years took their toll
and now I find that shuffling along, head bent,
no longer suits my future plans, which include red shoes
and dancing. I will love the orb of my earthly existence,
will hold near to heart all that delights, will clasp to my breast
my lover’s hands, whose tender touch rights what’s wrong.
In his embrace, all wounds are sealed. I breathe deep
the pungent smells of sex, grow luminous, shine
as I spin in sleep, while dreaming of my children,
far from me, lost, their faces neither lit nor spectral.
The door is closed, not locked. Step through, step through.
Pia Taavila-Borsheim grew up in Walled Lake, Michigan, and lives now in Fredericksburg, Virginia, with her husband, David Borsheim. She received her BA and MA in American Literature from Eastern Michigan University (1977, 1979) and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. (1985) from Michigan State University in English, Sociology, and Philosophy. She is a tenured, full professor and teaches literature and creative writing at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. In 2008, Gallaudet University Press published her collected poems, Moon on the Meadow: Collected Poems 1977-2007; Finishing Line Press published her chapbook, Two Winters in 2011. Her poems have appeared in several journals including: The Bear River Review, The Broadkill Review, Appalachian Heritage, The Comstock Review, Barrow Street, Threepenny Review, Wisconsin Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, storySouth, The Asheville Poetry Review, 32 Poems, Measure, Ibbetson Street Review, and The Southern Review. She is a frequent participant at the Bear River, Sewanee and Key West writing conferences. Her poems have been nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart Prizes and she has just finished a new full-length manuscript titled Notes to David.