“gold joining”

— Japanese art form using gold, silver or bronze to join broken pieces of pottery; treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise —

Like veterans home from a brutal war we seek each other out

because ours is a truth that few understand;

what it feels like to hear that your child is broken,

to hold them and feel a life force so weak you fear their death,

to sit in a sterilized room with a stranger telling you who your child will be based on one tiny, miniscule deletion of their DNA

and then to be cast adrift on a turbulent sea of doubt and fear and know that you must hoist the sails and guide this vessel home despite your ignorance of the prevailing winds

We have lived through the battle

of having our child’s future shattered in that

one blazing moment of diagnosis

our shock-filled eyes slowly registering the

shimmering glass-like fragments

scattered about our feet,

tears mixing with blood

seeping from wounds suffered in the explosion,

wounds becoming scars,

there to remind us always of this moment.

And we have lived through the aftermath,

the dawning realization of the destruction at our feet,

the undeniable knowledge

that it is now our job to

pick up the pieces


fit them imperfectly back together

bind them with gold and glue,


tears and small triumphs,

so that our child’s future may now be

a work of art,

a sculpture of love to show them

they have a place in this world.

As my daughter and I walk these halls in the

myriad of doctors and specialists,

I see the new parents with their babies,

the shock, the sorrow,

the worry etched deep

into the lines of their faces

as we step carefully amongst

the broken shards of their child’s future.

I want to tell them of my daughter,

and her life,

the way the sunlight is refracted

so beautifully

off the pieces we have

bound together.

There are few words for

that anxiety,

that grief,

few words that do not sound empty;

So instead I smile

and let my soulful daughter go to them

and look upon their baby

with the sincere, open delight

that brings people to love her so easily,

I smile and hope they see what I see,

the beauty of the perfect imperfections of

someone who was never, never truly broken.

author, poet, storyteller, podcaster, mother, wife, traveler, questioner

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