All posts filed under: Poetry Archive

Hardness

Who hardened you like this? Thickets of “protection” fortified around your heart “Protect you from what?” I ask The emptiness in your eyes replied in place of the silence of your lips Resting and waning The tide pulls back viciously Draining the earth around it You give and you take your love away Stow-away for “safekeeping” Closed down so good even you couldn’t find yourself I’d like to believe there was once a spark where your fingertips grazed the curves of life’s edges A glisten in your eye when you spoke life into the ears of the universe Hope in your heart where now hollowness pervades Because to feel nothing is better than to ache I said “What did they take away?” But I meant “What did they leave you with?” A fragment of your own reckoning Without the whisper of desire to put yourself back together again And for what? Time to be filled with emptiness As vapid as the distractions that divide meaning from the meaningless Hope from the hopefulness Empty as the …

Genetically Bound

His absence stings of salt water and cigarettes Memories of my childhood, of dry humor and spontaneity, with tidal waves of emotion My father spent his life looking at the chip on his shoulder with fresh eyes and an unbridled enthusiasm for his point of view I inadvertently learned a lot about myself, seeing him peel through the layers of his life and how he challenged the world around him Every day was a peculiar adventure that I could never quite prepare myself for I learned how to ride that wave and when to dig my heels in I learned what was valuable to me and what deserves protection I grew tough skin and an unbreakable core Most importantly, I grew empathy for those who go through life nursing their wounds from severed bonds His absence stings of salt water and cigarettes Memories of my childhood, of dry humor and spontaneity, with tidal waves of emotion He showed me the currency of our relationships is how we treat others and that where there’s a deficit …

Lucky Draw

Not sure what’s more embarrassing, that at fourteen I still lusted for stuffed animals or that mum’s target at the claw machine was way better than mine. Precise as threading a needle, she’d push the steel arm straight into the heart of the stuffed pit, wait, sipping Pepsi, hand on hip, sure as a cowboy. Once, her single turn brought back not one but two animals — a spotted panther and a long-tailed squirrel. Unlike their real-life avatars, the two never escaped my sight. But she did. 44 then gone. God plucks some of us away randomly, the priest said. Walking home that night, her wins tucked under my arm, I trotted ahead, curious and jealous, asked — how is your aim so good? She shrugged, caught up, tightening her grip around my wrist. As if I was the one prize she wanted. Thanks for reading! If you enjoy Raising Mothers, please consider making a one-time or recurring contribution to help us remain ad-free. If even a fraction of subscribers signed up to contribute $1 …

The White Night Shirt

Tide-scented, thrice folded, top of pile, she returns to me at night, pulls my soft, sagging mouth down her head and lies down, buffing with her hand my print — a cream and red cottage nesting on her chest. Her mother bought me full-price from the city’s first Westside and now she’s had me longer than she did her mother. It is winter in the picture, we can tell because snow is all over, except not as flakes or crystals but lush, comical apples. So many apples — filling up her dormant arms, polka dotting her hemline, sliced off on her neck — as if Newton was hailed on by one too many ideas at once, the plurality of such impossible weight flattening him before gravity could. This is how grief falls on her. Thanks for reading! If you enjoy Raising Mothers, please consider making a one-time or recurring contribution to help us remain ad-free. If even a fraction of subscribers signed up to contribute $1 per month, Raising Mothers could be self-sustaining!

Breasts

My niece Came to me one day Picked up a pickle Off the sunny side of the day Climbed up to my lap To press my breasts Her eyes like almonds Enquired about the strange softness I held her dimpled hands And thought about how The clock will smoothen The dimple off that bow And blood would flow From where there were no wounds But blood will flow And blood will leave A trail of womanhood Sprinkled like autumn leaves And some will be breasts Some heartbreaks Some euphoria Some time’s shade But when she feels her hands Upon her chest Away from her heart How I’ll be away Not seeing one life mature In the wake of one to degrade Thanks for reading! If you enjoy Raising Mothers, please consider making a one-time or recurring contribution to help us remain ad-free. If even a fraction of subscribers signed up to contribute $1 per month, Raising Mothers could be self-sustaining!