sometimes there are no words.
i can't quite tell you why i moved this once almost healthy bench, no sag or droop yet belying its age, into the back yard. for years it sat beneath my kitchen window, sheltered on the back porch, a space for a cat to sprawl in the afternoon sun, a place to prop jasmine plants so the smell would wander into my house. i can tell you that the porch is small and my mother's table needed room to breathe, that this bench had nails that would snag you when you weren't looking, and those would be truths. i could tell you it was a hard decision to make, the move from porch to yard, but that would be false. true that the table needed a space, but for years i'd envisioned the bench somewhere in the yard, had listened to people tell me it wouldn't last, and nodded yes, i understood, but . . . when it rained, only its left side got wet, and sometimes wasps built nests between its back and the wall of the house, and it just seemed . . . trapped.
i usually don't say this kind of stuff out loud to people, not in real life, which is where words on the page come in handy, a place to write down all the heart stuff, the hard stuff, but even then there are sometimes struggles. words are not enough. sometimes a picture will do instead, but sometimes neither. sometimes both are needed.
so, the bench. my mother's table took its place and i moved the bench to a spot i could see from the kitchen window, where i could watch its decline, try to catch its movements, movements that are too slow to see, but quicker than expected. one morning the right side was lower than the left and then suddenly lower. wild leaves creep in and out. some mornings it is full of cardinals, some mornings squirrels, sometimes snowflakes. when autumn truly arrives, and leaves begin to finally fall, it's a landing place for many. when it rains it gets wet all over. in the spring there are robins. and sometimes, still and always, a cat. it is exactly what i'd hoped for and couldn't explain. i watch its slow crumble back into the earth and know its happiness.
it explains to my heart all those broken moments i still carry.
a slow letting go.
i expect to see it open wide its arms any day.