Nellie

white dove snip

white dove snip (Photo credit: oddsock)

Grandmother —
Title, position, duties.
I never knew you
wanted to travel,
went overseas once.
A missionary trip
you longed to make, and
you did. I never knew
this small truth of courage
until your funeral.

How did you carry that
cold-heavy weight
of us on your shoulders
all those years?

Those dark-strong hours,
spent taking care of everyone
as we grew into non-children.
Solicitude, sympathy, tolerance.
Love always the deepest river,
lessons of giving-over everything
almost; and then

there was your God,
some stories you’d written,
a few trips taken —
the talented individual you were,
but all we ever knew
to hold onto
was a name, a presence,
the designation —
Grandma, Momma, Nellie – Love.

~February 2012 

 

Wisdom

 

The Red Sun
blazes some new
truth – you fill
yourself up on
its hot-wet flow.
Turn, to walk away – wise
as your skin peels, flakes
away – like ash – nothing
but extra weight,
you say.

The hair
on your head singes,
turns dark blue, slips
from your scalp,
strand by strand. Nothing
but aggravation,
you say.

Your lips
start to tremble, puff
like popcorn, drop
away – nothing,
useless anyway,
you
think. You have gained
wisdom – Everything
anyway,
you think – Until

a cold voice blows by you,
moves you with a truer truth.
Nothing — it’s nothing – says
the shivering whisper
as you watch the red sun
fall dark from the sky
and the keeper of wisdom
laughs
aloud in the air,
the
world
becomes dark,
and you melt
into ice frozen
with knowledge.

~August 2011


This is How We Dance

 

In circles that flow
during dream-time,
a step to the side.
A whisper to the left.
Two-step toward possibility.
Your voice in my ear
hushed tones of my name
spoken a thousand miles away.
There you are – living normally
where you are – I live normally
too, except for that vast space
of empty, during dream-time.
A whisper to the left,
A step to the side, two-step
in circles that flow. This
is how we dance.