This year I am thankful. Grateful for the mercy and favor that has been shed on my life.
Headpiece by Sonoran Muses – Emily Jones
Joyous that my cries for the end brought trumpets for beginnings. I am peaceful because I know the Awesome guides my steps. I have lost those whom guided me: Ernestine, Joseph, Aaron, Betty, and Denise. But I have gained sight that shows me the way. A high price was paid for my future, and now I multiply the talents passed to me (Matthew 25:14-30). Love made me, and loved I am. War protected me, and so I defend. Thank you to all that believe in me. Your seeds are watered well in my garden.
Thank you. That is my voice waking me to the risen sun. I breathe in and yawn. My body feels stiff, I stretch. I feel each ligament, Each muscle reminds me I am still here. My eyes flutter and form is added to my vision. A bed, mirror, tables, and plants, glow under the curtain, dimmed light.
I am home. Home is me.
My dog pushes her nose against the bedroom door. She is awake. She stretches her body downward, Tail up and I hear her peaceful moan. Each muscle reminds her that she is still here. Her jaw parts to pant and she is happy. Thank you for my human.
And there we are. Two beings, Animated again. Living prayers in skin.
A poem’s words can stem from thoughts, feelings or experiences. It can be a few lines or a few pages. The shape of the words can be in a traditional paragraph form or take the shape of an object. Poetry can be about anything, but what I love about poetry is its reach.
I can write a poem about my love for nature, and the reader can interpret it as the love for a child. I can write a poem about finding strength after heartbreak, and the reader can interpret it as a recovery from addiction.
A poem’s words can stem from the writer’s thoughts, feelings, or experiences. Poetry can speak to the reader in ways the writer never imagined. Therefore, I live. Therefore, I feel. Therefore, I write. All tears, blood, and sweat are transformed to verse. My life is yours to recite.
My mother could bring a dead plant to life. And I mean, dead; brown leaves and all. Most would throw a dead plant away. But mom would nurse it back to life. I would taunt her every time she went out to that garden and watered that barren, brown plant.
“Mom, that plant is dead dead. Just uproot it and start over,” I would say to her.
“…no, it’s still there. It just needs some time,” mom would reply.
Months passed. Seasons went by. And then, one day I saw a green leaf sprout from that barren spot I teased every morning. I was amazed because I didn’t have the patience my mother had. And she was always successful in bringing dead plants back to life.
But people are different. The same way mom never gave up on dead plants was the same way she never gave up on people. For that reason, many loved her, but many used her. In the end, the stress of trying to revive people, like plants, ended my mother’s life.
I remember her last days. I woke up each morning to water her, talk to her, encourage her. I even rolled her in that wheelchair she hated and sat in the sun with her, pruning her hair and braiding it back so we could see her sunken, but vibrant face.
“Stop bothering me, Martina,” she fussed at me weakly.
“No, I need to do your hair, and you need to get some fresh air,” I fussed back.
Years passed. Seasons went by. And one day, I saw a familiar woman raise her head from that empty spot where my mother was. She looked like her, but different in ways that reminded me that I am my own person. My mother was alive, but in me.
I was amazed because I had finally found the patience to bring something back to life.
I still feel the coil of your gray hair between my fingers. The oils grandmother used on our scalps drips down the part in your hair. I handle this earth with care for she is delicate. Oh how your brown skin hums melodies we cannot trace but remember; like the recipes we boil in pots.
My hands glide down silk arms light enough to wrap around my neck. Your strength transfers into a new vessel as I pick you up. You smile against my breast and we nest like two lovers reunited. I am familiar with this scene. You were me and we were meeting under the midwife’s reach.
I stare at my baby and pray I can give life to her. Take my life for her. But her might kept me here and her essence fills the morning air. I remember mother’s fingers in the coil of my hair, and I know who life has chosen.