In Mother’s Shoes: Walking Out Grief

paving stones with moss
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In Mother’s Shoes: Walking Out Grief

 

A mountain of grief
And a pile of shoes
Met me on the heels of momma’s death
Daddy went first
We went together
Grief shared, grief diminished

Big shoes
Nine or nine and a half
Ferragamo and Stuart Weitzman
Dignity sat at the end of those never-ending limbs
Boney feet, legs
Forgot how to walk
Toward the end
But taught me how to walk
To love
Legs, regal
Queenish and royal
Blue
Like veins
Tributaries, threads of her hands
Blood routes

We sat side by side on Sundays
Hushed on plush red velvet
Quiet as a church mouse, all but my tummy rumbling for lunch at the country club after church
Sweet smells of Methodism and old burnt-red hymnals linger still

I followed the sermon like a ten year old,
catching words and riding the tide of theology
I knew God was in that sanctuary (ten year old faith is strong like that)
The veins of her hands
Like a road map to life
I fingered her gold charms, reading each like a chapter book on a bracelet
Touching the pages
There, on her wrist, like a blind child reads braille
Dreaming of life and lunch

Now I walk out the loss, sift through memory,
find a way to remember

Slip into the slipper-style blue suede driving shoe
This is not a dress rehearsal, not dress-up
Though I am still a child, hers
Left, right
Both shoes
Misfit but sacred

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In Mother’s Shoes: Walking Out Grief  first appeared at The Kershaw County Fine Arts Center as part of a collaboration between myself and Laurie Brownell McIntosh. The exhibition included  collaborative painting and poetry from both artists.

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Not Another Poem About The Moon

astronomy crater dark moon
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Not Another Poem About The Moon
On its way to wax and wane
Reigning over night, sometimes day
Shares a celestial crown with the sun
A gentleman, that moon
In the tension of here and there and hiding
Doubles when shining over the sea
We dance a pas-de-deux
The moon and you and me
Dramatic monopolylogue, you as man, you as moon,
You as director of the tides
Performed nightly in your starring roles
Hands down best performance under the sun
Go, go, go
Into the night
Chase after the moon
Stand under the weighted ebony canvas
Pinned to the sky by asterisms
Plant your feet
By the thousand year old oak, narcissus bulb,
Or alone in farmer’s fallow field
And stand
Stillness becomes you, drenched in moon glow
Spilled to earth from cratered and chiseled full moon
Blushing with humility, pink becomes you, your best color yet
Every once in a blue moon
I see the silhouette of your face
And grin wide and wide-eyed
As the child in me meets the man in you
You saw me looking up, and seemed to wink
Accolades for the star, the moon
Transformer of the heavens
From crescent into
King and Blood and Blue and Harvest too
The Oscar goes to
The man in the moon
Best in Everything
Go into the night and day
Day and night
Singing every moon song you ever knew, anew

Beauty blinds, heals us
Fly me there
On a wing and prayer
Oh how do you memorize your lines, performed perfectly every time?
Bow, we applaud you
And the bovine who leapt over you too

We are simply fools to think
We don’t need another poem about the moon

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Don’t Stop Me If You’ve Heard This Before

Don’t Stop Me If You’ve Heard This Before

the writer of Ecclesiastes knew
I  am learning too
there is nothing new under the sun
a million graduates graced the stage
diplomas and dreams clenched in fists of tan hands
a million mothers have sat with pride
remembering everything that ever was
nothing is not remembered, nothing is allowed forgetting
you may say I have heard this before
this retelling, it’s too familiar to wake me up, make me come alive
everything about this moment
the other ones too
though told before
burst forth with new birth
and old is new, anew
don’t stop me if you’ve heard this before
because I will not stop talking
a million mothers may sit with pride
but there is only one me
and there is only one us
repetition is the echo, the bold, the exclamation point
everything bears repeating
the chorus and refrain sing me home

 

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