Saturday, August 26, 2006

An Ode to Time and Faces

A gray hair, a wrinkle, no lipstick,
I speak with the accents of my grandmothers
crossing an ocean to replace their church,
to replace their rain for snow,
green for white.
Nothing can be as barren as hopelessness.
I wore the mantle of youth's
arrogance telling me I can do it all.
I did nothing.
The weight of the bottle's liquid
changes my hair to remembered red:
my age no longer holds its copper.
Don't cluck your tongue
and tilt your chin down
for my years often are a burden;
my mortality whispering
like the clocks I want to turn
ten minutes back.

Julie, your practicality a halo,
your momentary rages are inspired reminders
that sometimes everything won't be OK
and it's OK to leave
the umbrellas down as the storm passes.
Our boots soaking, the lilacs
withering in our hands,
the wine on the table nurtures our words
and this is how I pictured my life to be
from across the hall in my pyjamas.

Adam, your stability a shield
against this sadness and I let you go
in this hopelessness I never thought
I'd feel. Our memories
wrapped up in hand knit afghans
in a room in a cottage by the Atlantic,
Irish tea and biscuits and your laughter.
If we could have stayed frozen in
that moment, we would have been happy forever.

Matt, your words a buoy
pushing me to experiment with the
language we share when I want
to be lazy and trust the world will open
and I'll float without effort,
without Jamie coaxing out the accents
of my grandmothers
who speak to us from centuries across oceans.

And Sam, your presence a pillar
you won't humbly acknowledge and
I trust you all the more for your humility
and knowing you would laugh if I told you
your heritage intimidates me gloriously, that
your association with tradition and rebellion,
your lack of walls,
edits my fears and inspires my instincts.

How do I think age a burden? I am
compelled to push you all away and draw
a line between stanzas to keep it all separate,
to not recognize the seasons binding us.
I call in accents, foreign, to
my grandfather's steady presence in my
night time, a beacon in his old age that
grows in the blood. My grandmothers
whisper my story that birthed them. And you
can hope to hear their voices on the morning tide,
the sunshine far and rolling.

1 comment:

Omar said...

Love your blog! Great poetry and pictures! nice to see your adventures in Algonquin, wish I were there too..
I'm gonna link to you whenever Blogger sorts itself out (massive connectivity problems this weekend).