Wednesday, June 30, 2010

i have a feeling
that writing what i actually feel
and think and am here
would not be a good idea.

so this is it.

mother come back (with all of you)

she knew there was trouble
when the sewing machine
started talking back.
when the simple task
and action that saved her
no longer came
as a first reaction

you can't do this,
not anymore

the thing jerked
below her hands,
no longer humming
like it used to.

that was the year
her mind started to go
along with her body.
the hands that had flown
so effortlessly
making wedding dresses
and later, christening gowns
were now bent brittle frail
and refused to put
pins to fabric.

she just forgot how,
claiming that her head
wouldn't let it happen

i was taught at a young
age how to run that
damn contraption,
how to whip-stitch and
hem everything by hand.

no matter how many dresses
and pillow cases i made,
nothing compared to
how hers had been
(when they had been)
before time crept up
and ran away with her and
all the talent those
fragile hands had possessed.

time came and took my blankets
and pillow cases and dresses
before it finally took
my mother along as well.


sunday's litanies

we were predictable
like seasons like
storms, you could just feel us
brewing in the air.

every sunday we'd be
sitting on the porch,
on the wooden swing
your father made for us
(before finding out we were
'living in sin')
my eyes fixed intently
on your pen as it
danced over page
after page,
barely making contact
with the rough paper,
(like the way you touched
my smooth skin)
making each gentle character
blend so beautifully
into the next.

i'd kneel before you,
waiting for the day
you'd claim me
and be my salvation.

your words were my scripture
and i called you my bible
because you were the closest thing
to god i'd ever known.

you'd bat me away
on days like these,
shooing me like i was
one of those pesky moths
on a hot summer night,
beating about as if
you were the flame.

claiming my attention
and observation made
everything difficult, you'd
banish me
to the bedroom
singeing my wings
and dousing your flame,
even though
you knew this closeness
was all i desired.


she will see him soon

i sat in the chair every night,
holding his hand
and talking -
like he could understand
a word i was saying.

the only response
i'd ever get was the
of his i.v. pumping
and pumping more drugs
into his body,
trying to force
life back into him.

the beeping of
every other machine
on the floor
laid the beat for
the saddest song
i've ever heard.

and pearl,
oh pearl,
provided the lyrics,
something about
her dead husband,
starting the chorus over
every five minutes--
i'm going to visit him,
soon, she'd say,
so very very soon.

i'd never envied
someone so much
in my entire life.

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