Mother

Once upon a time

I was not your Mother

you came to me in a dream

and whispered your way

into my heart

you grew in my womb

and I grew along side you

in the warmth and dark

we danced our way into being

time came

the waves rolled us up

up

a terrible wrenching

a gasping

a shedding

we were born

a new life for us both

my son

you are here

I am your Mother

 

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Daddy Said

you will write

he whispered firmly

through the inky black of

night where crickets sang

and soldiers who lay dead

long dead nodded yes

she will write

he strummed his guitar and soothed the flutter thump thump

the smell of honeysuckle drifting on the breeze

underneath Orions belt

red clay in the moon light

red clay over all those dead boys

i’m scared Daddy

of what?

of dyin’

oh honey babe

don’t you know?

you’ve been dyin’ since the day you were born

huck finn drops in to smoke a pipe

and the frogs sing a love song

i write

Beat Down

sometimes I wonder

why I always take the hard way

why I have to beat my own path

out of brush and thorn

pulling up the roots

and breaking off the branches

that smack my face

those keep out

stay back

don’t you dare

 

it gets awfully lonely

doing all the hard work

my hands get pretty raw

my feet get pretty torn

my heart gets pretty broken

In the end I keep walking

you can hear yourself think

out here

Feeling That Way

it feels like a little bit dry

a parching

a slow turning in and back

a  bit woozy

a  bit sick

a shaking of the head

as if that could bring back the balance

or make it right

 

it’s that time before dark

eyes bulging out

trying to suck in that last bit of light

the pounding of the heart

and quick quick of the feet

hustling you home before it gets you

how can it get you

with no name?

 

it feels like a little bit slow

a dragging

a sagging

tripping you up

making you fall

sometimes you just need

to sit down

and die

Forty Years On

when I look at you

I see you

forty years from now

I see the sag of cheek

and jowl

your brown skin

toughened

by high desert sun

as creased and worn

as a brown paper sack

your shiny

black

hair

is white

tied at the back of your head

in a Navajo bun

 

I pretend that I am the one

that tied it there

 

I see your children

and their children

surrounding you with joy

and the laughter

I know

you will have given them

Dine’

Dine’

Dine’

carried over mountains and miles

a family wherever they are

 

I pretend that I am the one

that gave them to you

 

when I look at you

I see you

forty years from now

and next to you

I see me

Moving on.

Your laughter rings tinny

that smile that made me swoon

leaves me wishing I could rinse and spit

my spirit as easily as my mouth

I used to hear a whisper

ringing out from that crook

at the corner of your smile

back when I assumed

your smile was for me

 

I arch my back a little harder now

my breasts stand up

a little prouder now

I don’t hesitate to put my foot

exactly where I mean to step

because your shadow is no longer

beneath my feet

tripping

and tangling

my way