The weed,

Proud in its glossy teardrop leaves,

Bends and returns to center

In wind and storm.

The single stem stands

Until

 On the path 

Broken

It can at least feebly say,

“He came this way! 

He came this way.”

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Fourth

I never kept a baby book for you,

Never carefully charted inches and milestones

So you could one day see and I could

Prove I loved you.

This must be my evidence-

That I had finally learned how to play,

How to guide;

I drank up your air and built a treasury of raised eyebrows and sideways smiles.

I taught your siblings to enjoy your baby ways and to make room for your growing curiosity.

I saved your life ten thousand times, and each, the gasping pain and fear felt fresh and new-

You wanted to fly!

I pray you do.

Year of Mercy

When fear’s fire is hot

With no worthwhile thought,

Flee to the last hope of men:

God won’t give a Damn

Unless we beg for one-

And maybe, not even then.

I feel this demands comment because it can be interpreted two ways, by the one who hopes and by the one who despairs. The one who despairs sees an apathetic God, or perhaps no God at all. The one who hopes sees that even in her own brokenness, she always has the promise of Heaven if she fights on. The last line speaks of the power of intercession and Mercy for all souls.

I’m not enough.

There it is.

Not enough, never enough-

Inadequate.  Insufficient.

I was never tested under these conditions before now-

The prize fight for a proving ground,

Opening night for the audition.

 

I am green and red and blue,

Sure to lose dignity, pride, and place-

But the only way out is through,

The only end-

True to every story ever told-

Is to embark, all unwillingly, on

Another New.

I’m leaving the Tower of Babel.

We shake our fists and throw up our hands,

Bellow and shriek to waken the damned,

Hedged round by sound, each soul a faction-

Drown in inchoate echoes or 

Flee to put love in action?

I’m leaving the Tower of Babel.

I drive with one hand

And not because I want to.

I am twisted, shoulder aching,

Holding my baby’s still-pudgy fingers

And singing soothingly. 

The world offends him-

Smiles from strangers and

Any restraint.

Shrieks shake my teeth

And kicks rock my seat,

Rapidfire, staccato-

The drum that calls to

Superhuman calm.

I, too, balk at restraint,

And soothing your storms:

Physician’s balm.

Memory

My mother is fixing dinner again,

Stifling a gasp as her

Beautiful

Fingers with the purple and blue and green veins

Woven knottily about them

Gingerly lift the dancing pot lid

And steam stings her wrist.

I am wedged into a kitchen corner,

The hard edges of counter and cabinet

Cradling me as I stand

Squarely in her way,

Talking about nothing and

Drawing life from her voice and her stove.