Time moves on, and I have held on
Still, I will weep for the child
That got lost in the abyss.
I can feel the ache in me
When I think back to all those homes
That I could not escape
I was too old at eighteen.
I left with nothing.
I am twenty-six now,
and sometimes I forget my age.
I forget that I'm in charge of me
I'm in charge of my feelings, now.
At times, this joyous freedom is too big a responsibility.
This is normal to a degree, but
Sometimes I forget my age,
When I think of
What people are capable of
Doing to a child
Sometimes, I forget my age
When I think back on where I've been
Or when I say I want to go home;
I forget that I pay rent
Sometimes I forget to remember that I am home.
Sometimes my mind forgets that I'm home.
I want to go home
And know that I am there,
Yesterday, I did not turn around.
There was some comment
About how I'm a blonde now,
But, I'm not.
I let you pretend
That our house wasn't on fire.
"Do you like it?"
You ask this in a way that reminds me
you like to make my mouth your favorite fishing spot.
I've learned a lot about lying from you.
You only came over to look around.
But you've covered your eyes.
I look over and I see your child
Repeating the same mantra,
"I am not a dock, there are no fish here,"
We repeat this together until you leave.
And then you do.
Our life resumes.
The personality of a stinging bumblebee,
This tongue defies gravity.
Mind the words,
Mustn't make them feel threatened.
Talking too much -
Too often our conversation's death sentence.
See, here I go again!
These parables in my throat,
Plead for ice-water
There is a special kind of Hell for untold stories.
I'd offer you apologies,
But that would turn into ten-million other stories
Probably about how I've always been made to apologize
For the gymnasts that are my thoughts.
They only know summersaults and headstands.
And all I wanted to say was,
Yeah, I hear you.
Pain felt, morphs into more love to pass on.
Somewhere in our own personal hells
We learn how to detect when someone else, is in that same fire.
The lava and brimstone of our own anguish,
permits us to become a river
For the ones set ablaze.
are we made to fear Hell?
do we run?
I say to you, come what may
devils, depression, or snakes-in-disguise.
Bring on the fire.
I will have learned how to be.
Pain will teach you to be like water.
Dissecting the frogs in my throat,
Viral disease transmission,
Unloading the chamber,
Confessing sins to my friends,
All Sunday morning - easy.
I already know
that money can't buy hope.
Witnessed the devil in me,
Honey, even that ain't scary.
I did more than hope for you.
I prayed to any Lord that would listen.
I'd been so tired of singing the blues;
So, I prayed for you.
Promised I'd never ask for anything else;
I put old hopes up on the shelf.
And there you stood.
Finally, I believed
Without the need for proof.
The only thing painful
About loving you is knowing
That one day
It's your life I've got to learn to lose.
My grandma remains etched into my heart for these reasons: she is compassionate, her prayers never cease, and she always sees the best in others.
Her hair looks as though it has always been grey; she has eyes that resemble the juxtapose of life, bittersweet.
Happy, inviting, but also somber.
Greener than rural pastures in the Springtime, the safest place for the livestock to return home for a meal.
She smells of a woman who has only known home – Worcestershire sauce, dish soap, damp wrung out dishtowels, and the faint scent of flowers to balance things out. If warmth had a smell, she has it.
A voice that is soft yet convincing, the kind of voice where any question she asked no matter what it was, always resounded an “Are you okay?”.
We played games like Go Fish and Stealing The Pile (though maybe this was a name easiest for a child to comprehend, as I have never heard it anywhere else).
She let me win quite a bit.
When it was time to for her pray, she sat me down with a notebook and scissors and I’d cut paper into shapes I had made up, or draw a house with the triangle roof where smoke was billowing from the rectangle chimney;
She taught me to draw when I was three.
I’d wait for roast and do things toddlers did.
Safety was not scarce back then.
Rosary in hand and roast in the pot, she paced as she prayed at three each afternoon.
The pads of her fingers were tinged bright pink atop her light skin, like Saint Nick’s cheeks in Winter.
They donned tiny craters from being pressed firmly against the rosary’s beads.
Meticulously they crept from one bead to the next, not quite pouncing, and not gliding.
Repetition never looked this much like art, not even the Louvre could captivate me as much as my grandmother praying did.
Novenas and pleading whispers of love and well-wishes, devout fails to encompass her in her entirety.
In the NICU, she sat by my incubator day and night doing the very same pleading she does today.
The doctors told my family I would be deaf, dumb, blind, – invalid.
On to her knees, she dropped and refused to accept that. She tells me of the day when she bargained with Christ, The Virgin Mary, and His Disciples on my behalf often.
As fate would have it, in the NICU, there was a nurse who dropped an item made of glass within earshot and lo and beholds; it scared me!
This was her sign from above, that yes, I could indeed hear.
Though I have no memory of this, perhaps this is why her praying looked holy to me, for it was probably my first image of her.
As I grew older and lost my mother, I lost myself and so I lost others. Where others were quick to suggest foster homes, even as she aged she would say, “No, I can take care of Carla.”
She loved me through every cuss word I hurled in frustration.
She remained calm when I bared defensive fangs and rabid snarls.
She accepted my apologies quickly and then forgot that she had any reason to forgive me in the first place. I was undeserving, yet she never condemned me; She loved me, anyway.
She prayed and she was warm, and slow to blame if she ever did.
To me, she is love. It is with the same compassion that my grandmother extended to me that I shared her with you.
My grandmother is still living, steady as a slow gong, but she is somewhere else inside of herself due to dementia.
If she does not already have a first-class ticket to Heaven, it will look like less of a place to be.
If I witnessed sweat dripping from your palms at the sight of me,
I’d assume my face did something weird
Before ever assuming you could possibly be in love with me.