The things I want you to know will streak
behind me, contrail. Think of it
as me singing my way to God. I sing
what I’ll carry. The moments I didn’t notice
were the most holy, translucent because
I’d lost my body to the world. Heaven
will be a montage of those moments,
“life more abundant.” But of what I remember,
here’s what I’ll take with me like ricrac
on my angel hem. The squat
of a toddler studying grass, the chuff
of an early-morning snowshovel, sparkling
books and ragged cheap ones, splayed. Lonely
ceilings at 2 a.m., slammed doors.
A deep breath at a mountain summit
or after giving birth or before
the argument begins.
Music. Top-of-your-lungs car-radio at dusk
with the windows down; down-
on-my-knees hymns whispered bedside in grief,
choirs, my children’s piano lessons,
Gorgeous years and hideous hours—I’d trade
none of it. It passed too quickly,
but only in retrospect.
Watching a teenager haul himself out of bed to do battle
with the world once again. Clean sheets, tall tumblers
of water with lemon, aunts laughing in the kitchen.
The making of things out of words. Scent
of my husband’s neck, of the scalp
of a newborn—my newborn! Scent
of the canvas of a tent
inside which all my boys are tucked with me safe
just as the rain begins. Listen, Loves, I have had my turn
at the dance, God my partner. Sweet deep muscle ache
I’ll take with me, unresenting. Know this: I’ve had
my share; I’ll sleep soundly and well.
Darlene Young is author of the poetry collection Homespun and Angel Feathers and Here and teaches writing at Brigham Young University.