My Closet – Poem

A Poem
Written by -M. Taggart
1/21/18
For years I opened my closet door to see nothing
but my own jackets, sweatshirts, boots, shoes, crap.
Eventually my closet and I didn’t get along.
Why bother opening a thing that gives back
only the same memory with no hope of progression.
My boots became more worn. My jackets changed
positions and eventually those too become useless to me.
Five years into being a hard core bachelor
-nothing could control me. Not a thing,
except for my fucking closet.
I specifically remember opening my brother’s closet
during a family event. It was the twins birthday.
I was among the last to leave. I had ruffled their hair,
told them I loved them- they ran off into another room
and I opened their closet door to find my jacket.
This was my brother’s home and my brother’s life.
In his closet hung children’s jackets. Some of which
had little ears. And on the back of the closet door
hung shoe and boot holders and in the holders were
little shoes and little boots. I wanted to cry. I wanted
to do more than cry but instead I closed the door and
walked out of my brother’s house and got into my truck.
I shut the door, turned the radio on, and drove. I drove
through farmland and shut the damn music off because I
never listen to music and it was nothing more than a mask
for having looked into another closet that was not a closet
at all, but a life. A home. A real home. I had my four walls
and my closet that I didn’t get along with waiting for me.
-Now though..I sit here thinking of that asshole closet of mine
and about how somehow, someway, it’s still there. And now
It’s the one who is alone because I am no longer alone and haven’t
been for a long, long while. Even before I met Megan. Something
happened. Something that propelled my being into what I was
meant to be, to live, to see. And now when I open my closet, it isn’t
my old boots. It’s life. It’s beautiful life. Megan’s fluffy jacket’s that
I couldn’t possibly understand how to wear, it’s her boots that I couldn’t
possibly walk in, it’s her smile hiding in the hood of her jacket, I open
my closet now and I see my son’s winter jacket puffing out at me, begging
me to put it on him. I see tiny little ears. I see little boots. And little shoes.
This is my closet, and this is my most favorite closet that I have ever had.

-M. Taggart

One Strong Megan

I almost lost my wife. Last Tuesday Megan stayed home from work. Just before noon I heard my name called from upstairs. Followed by the sound of Megan landing on the bathroom floor. I was downstairs feeding Gavin his lunch.

Megan’s head was in between the toilet and the shower. She was just opening her eyes. Her breathing was highly elevated. She was perspiring heavily. I started asking basic questions. She wasn’t able to focus her eyes. From my point of view, Megan did not know who I was.

I flat lined emotionally. Everything slowed down. I had my cell phone in my hand while asking Megan, “Would you like an ambulance?” I was calling regardless of her answer. She was pregnant. We found out the previous Friday night that the pregnancy was ectopic. Monday morning she had a follow up with her doctor to confirm what the emergency room told her Friday night. Her doctor gave her two shots of metho, told her she might feel cramping, but that she’d be able to go to work on Tuesday.

There I squatted, on Tuesday, pushing the hair from my wife’s face. “Yes, she’s starting to come to. Yes, she know’s who she is. No her color seems alright. (I am color blind.) Hunni, they are telling me to tell you that help is on the way. Ma’am, I need to run downstairs and get my son out of his high chair. He’ll tip it over. Yes, I’ll be fast and I’ll come back up to be with Megan.” Thank God Megan is strong.

The doctor was wrong. The worst possible situation was happening. Megan had suffered a rupture and was bleeding internally.

“Be a good boy, Gavin.” I had just placed Gavin in his nursery area. I ran back upstairs.

“Ma’am I can hear the sirens, I’m going to let you go.”

“Megan, you’re going to be O.K. The ambulance is outside. I’ll be right back. I need to open the door for them. -Yes, please come in. She’s directly up the stairs and straight into the bathroom.- Gavin, Mommy is going to be OK. Please don’t cry. Please don’t cry.”

I called Megan’s sister while the ambulance drove away. ‘Get to the Hospital. Call me as soon as you know if she’ll need surgery.”

Megan was rushed into emergency surgery. She was bleeding so badly they were literally watching her stomach rise. Her blood pressure was becoming close to even. I arrived at the hospital too late. I stood in line to be told where she was. Her sister appeared and told me they couldn’t wait any longer. They didn’t know I was standing in line at the front desk. No cell reception.

The surgeon, Lillian, saved my wife’s life. Lillian was, and is amazing. “Mr. Taggart, she suffered internal damage. The pregnancy ruptured. She lost 1.3 liters of blood. She bled into her abdomen. There was other damage too. Would you like to see the pictures. We had no choice. We believe we did the right thing.”

My wife was dying on our bathroom floor. I am still flat-lined emotionally. Megan finally is home and resting. I am so thankful. I am so thankful. She has a long recovery in front of her. She won’t be returning to work until after Christmas. She can’t lift over ten pounds for six weeks. She can’t lift our son. She can’t rock our son. This has stolen a portion of her life. She has been afraid to sleep for fear of not waking up. When she does sleep she has nightmares. I love my wife. Seeing the hurt this has placed on my wife is something I may not forgive.

Her pregnancy hormones were 31k at her doctors office. The cut off for the medicine administered to my wife is 5k.

This never should have happened.

After Megan’s surgery Megan fainted in the bathroom. Two nurses held her in place until a team of nurses helped bring her back to her bed. I stood watching. Arms folded. Useless. Straight faced. Upset, for what my wife was being forced to endure. Megan was anemic and now needed a blood transfusion. After her surgery we were told they tried to remove all of the blood that had bled into her abdomen, but that it was impossible to do. The remaining blood would slowly be absorbed. However, the process would be painful. Blood is an irritant when placed where it ought not be. Megan struggled to move for a number days.

Family arrived from numerous states to help. Help support us. Help watch Gavin so I could sleep next to Megan at the hospital. This event surrendered us, placed us in a position of hope and sadness. It effected our entire family structure and friends.

Now though, as we near Christmas, we are thankful. I am focusing on the positive. Megan will be home with us. She can read to Gavin. She can sit with Gavin and play with dinosaurs. She can tell him she loves him and give him kisses. But please Gavin, no jumping on Mommy. Lets just be happy that you have your mother. The thought of Gavin growing up without Megan is too devastating for me to process.

The night we brought Megan home, I said to myself ‘my head closed today.’ And the repeating started. There’s ONE person who reads my writing who knows what that means. That was the closest I came. I’m flat emotionally and that’s where I need to be for just a bit longer. Until then we’ll drive after the sun goes down and enjoy showing Gavin the Christmas lights. We’ll drive on the dirt roads and look for dino’s in the forest. We’ll watch Christmas movies. We’ll place Gavin next to Mommy and let the cuddles begin. It’s time to build memories.

I said I almost lost my wife. Megan was too strong to let that happen.

Gavin

photo (71)

 

summer maine

Megan and I

 

 

 

 

Shirt? Let me wriggle-

Parenting is trying to remember what shirt you have on without looking down.

Since you don’t want to cheat, you wriggle your body to try and determine which shirt it is.

People looking at you think you’ve developed a nervous twitch.

This is no nervous twitch. You think/say a portion of that thought out loud, ‘Nervous twitch.’ Is all that comes out.

No, this is being awake most the night for three nights in a row because your two year old has croup and can’t sleep unless they are propped up. On you. And because you can hear the stridor in their breathing, you don’t care how many nights they will need your shoulder, or how many shirts you’ve mentally misplaced, or how twitchy you’ve become.

 

Parenting

I sit my two year old son, Gavin, on my lap just after he bumps his head on the coffee table in the living room. I tell him, ‘Gavin, you need to be careful of your head. You need what’s inside your skull. You don’t yet understand just how important it is to protect what you have. Love you buddy.’

Gavin then jumps from my lap, grabs a Dino, and makes a loud roaring sound. And off he goes. I know that Gavin doesn’t fully understand what I’m telling him. But what I believe he feels is a caring tone. We’ve (Megan and I) repeated this hundreds of times. If not thousands. We’re teaching him to care for himself. We’re teaching him to love himself. Something I didn’t learn to do until my mid thirties.

I made a decision before Gavin was born to forgo the growth of my career to be the care giver to my son during the week. A decision I know to be the correct one for myself and my family. The best parenting advice in the world comes down to two words. Be there. My career, which I built, can be built again. The one chance I have to be the best father possible, is now.

As I continue to observe Gavin’s growth and development I often think of children who do not have a guardian that’s acting in their best interest. I think of guardians who hit. Who scream. Who sexual and mentally abuse children. I hope you bump into these words if you are among that ilk. It’s you. It’s not the child. It’s you and you need help. Stop hitting. Stop screaming. Stop abusing and turn yourself in. You won’t. You’re too weak. It’s your weakness that owns you and you aren’t intelligent enough to know what to do with it.

If you are a child that somehow reads these words. It’s not your fault. It never was. It never will be. This isn’t a promise for you to keep- to protect them any longer. Turn them in. They are killing you.

If you are a parent or guardian that suspects something has affected your child, ask them. Right now. Do not wait. If you don’t ask, no one will. NO ONE.

Abuse of a child runs rampant in all countries. All societies. If you are an adult that witnesses abuse, step in. That very moment. That child may never have another chance.

It’s 4:30 AM and I’m shivering while writing this. My son just woke up, upset, and needing attention. Megan or myself is always there for him. With endless, us. I wish every child had this. Unfortunately I know this to not be the case.

Enjoy your coffee.

Matt

 

 

Reminder

I’m writing a new book. I’ve noticed I’ve paused in the writing of it. Though, not for lack of material. I’ve plenty of that. It’s because it’s too important to get this right. I want to write so well it can’t go unnoticed. And to rush it, would be to ruin it. I’ve done that before. I need to remember the only rules to the writing of this book are the ones I place within myself.

Thanks for reading. I have snippets of time to publish poems on this platform, write the book, and comment back. So please, for me, have some fun today, and a drink (even juice) so you can mentally cheers me. I’ll need the push! Next spring we build our new house. A long time dream finally coming to fruition.

Matt

p.s. Most of my time is happily placed exactly where it ought to be.

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Brillaint Blue

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A Flower for Mom –

Our father said we’ll leave early, get groceries, and flowers for mom
we picked up stones in the driveway. that always made him happy
it was hot and we were dirty but we didn’t care because we’d make mom smile
noon came and went and he still hadn’t gotten out of bed
we left picking rocks behind and looked for flowers in the field
we were lucky to have a field
most don’t have a field

-M. Taggart

Odd Walking Thoughts

The boy walked into the woods. It wasn’t yet dark. He heard his mother say, “I’m disgusted by humans.” The boy walked deeper into the woods because the brook waited for him. The water was calm and caring. The boy thought of his mother, “And another window will smear. It’s what they do. Especially men. They smear everything as often as they can.” The boy walked on. The sun pushed through the canopy of trees. Finally he heard the brook. The boy took his shoes off and placed his feet into the water, feeling the bottom. It was better than knowing about the rest. Slowly though, he bent forward. His mirror. “Should I be any better?” the boy thought of his mother’s shrill voice. -M. Taggart