A first photo shows him six months old, sitting in a small straw chair. A second photo show him one year old, upright, holding on to the back of the same straw chair.
He’s now two years old. We’re waiting at the airport. When we try to stand him on his own, he falls hard on the floor. The straw chair stayed behind in Saigon.
In the Light
We finish packing the car and walk to the cliff for a last look at the ocean waves below. I ask my husband to take a photo. We settle ourselves, six children and their mother. We want the photo up close, each face in the light.
Our youngest, soon seven, is too close. He won’t be seen. Someone says “Back up!” He loses his balance and slips close to the edge. I catch his hand and hold tight.
There’s a voice downstairs, the voice of our son come back home for a spell. He says he’s broke, alone in the world. He says he’s out flat on the ground
His eyes see the darkness I hide with white curtains. His ears hear the sirens I stifle with Mozart. His words name the dragons I paint as cats.
“Surfacing”, three short prose poems about one of our children (published in Offshoots 9, edited)
Susan Tiberghien is an American-born writer living in Geneva, Switzerland. She founded the Geneva Writers’ Group in 1993 which she continues to dirrect and where she teaches monthly workshops. She has published three memoirs, “Looking for Gold, One Year in Jungian Analysis” (Daimon Verlag, 1997, “Circling to the Center, A Woman’s Encounter with Silent Prayer” (Paulist Press, 2001), “One Year to a Writing Life” (Da Capo Press, 2007) and most recently, “Side by Side, Writing Your Love Story” and “Footsteps, In Love with a Frenchman” (both Red Lotus Studio Press, 2015) along with numerous narrative essays in journals and anthologies on both sides of the Atlantic. She teaches and lectures at graduate programs, at C.G. Jung Centers, and at writers’ conferences both in the States and in Europe.