When Vocabulary Fails

Planter and all--at the corner.

Planter and all--at the corner.

There should be a verb for that thing you do when the big emotions are bubbling up to make things tight in your chest or maybe leak a little out the eyes but the children are around always around so you tie the emotions up in a bundle and find somewhere else in your body for them to live. You dig up the optimistic voice from your little toe and try to get it all the way up to your throat in time to say something like, "Cupcake time!"

There should be a condition for when your body can't take this displacement anymore and starts to come unlaced in smaller moments or weighs down with weariness from this particular fatigue.

There should be a word to say that you are relieved to be safe, to have made it to the doctor in time to catch the pneumonia just starting, to get the asthma medicine just as your supply was running out--but a word that says how the relief doesn't live alone in you but is tangled and twisted with the grief and sadness you feel for all the others who are not warm or dry or making it anywhere anytime soon.

A phrase for how your heart is heavy until there is relief for all. But not your heart--because the children are still around and that's too close to the surface. Your elbow, perhaps. (Unless that one's already taken.)

Sometimes there are just no words.