Circle of Life
Ribbons, Bows and Pink Lace
I am six, no ribbons, bows or pink lace, only long curly locks around my freckled face, I do not want dolls or to play with others, I never got ribbons, bows or pink lace, only long braided hair that hid my shy face; I was always alone, and for fun, I chased lizards, slimy, slithery ones, and turtles, slow, ugly green ones, I loved watching the frogs jump, and the birds fly, flip pity flop pity, high-flying ones; I loved the pretty colored rainbows sent after a storm; and when I caught falling stars, putting them in my pocket, I made wishes every day, for ribbons, bows, and pink lace!
I am ten years old now; we live in a shot-gun shanty on the Mississippi River, I wore new homemade clothes that smelled old before I wore them, no time for fun or friends, it seems like the only warmth in our shack came from an old iron pot-bellied coal stove huddled in the corner coughing up fumes of distaste, like me, “Come on out and play!” The other kids taunted me, then ran away.
I am much older now, my gray hair hiding my face, I have Ameren, a warm gas heater, water to bath with and to cook, now I wish my kids and grandchildren ribbons, bows, and pink lace; it is far too late for me!
Purple River Currents
My heart is a reservoir for purple river currents, not blood red, not lagoon blue, not raging in a deep dark, mysterious abyss, but passionately racing through my body, my veins, lapping up oxygen like long hungry tongues, purple river currents cannot be dammed, nor can resounding echoes be ignored, I am damned, still, I am counting on those purple river currents flowing a long, long time.
The Glass Dancer
After my mom died, I sculpted the following bust of mom and wrote a poem to go with it. Mamma, Mamma, don’t cry, lucky for us, we’ve been born again, from rich, moist clay and strewn love, each sand particle together mixed, Sweet waltzes of time gone-by, dancing with vulnerable glass quarried limbs, blind mocking eyes cold as stone.
Mamma, Mamma, don’t cry, so harried our beginnings and our end, with so much desire and in quiet desperation, I cut your jade wrists than mine, My bereavement pain has not been easy, Twice no one dies; I wait in un-hope, A slip of the hand, And we’re together again!