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60The Postponed Conversationhttps://www.firstthings.com/article/2013/10/the-postponed-conversation
Tue, 01 Oct 2013 00:00:00 -0400 Some days her mind begins to reappear.
Today you feel her halting fingers trace,
along your skull, the curls she used to fear,
although she raised you in a gentler place
than where her classmates called her kinky head
or worse. She thinks shes cringing by her locker,
until she sees you there. Sorry I said
those things, she whispers. Late regrets unblock her.
When you were sixteen, she was being kind,
searing your scalp with chemicals to free
you of the curls she gave you. In her mind
the only truth out there was cruelty.
Here, now, she loves your hair. Grasping your brush,
she soothes you, coaxes you. Dont question. Hush.
]]>Mother’s Day Rememberedhttps://www.firstthings.com/article/2012/06/mothers-day-remembered
Fri, 01 Jun 2012 00:00:00 -0400 Far from where your sharp glance and mine could meet,
a laundromat on Rue des Pyrenées
was where I learned to fold a fitted sheet”
which, in a different language, seemed OK.
who showed me how to place
my hands in the sheet’s corners, shake it straight,
then bring both palms together, was an ace
at teaching without judging. (
Why so late?
At 21 I was a cultured waif,
a refugee from family politics
into another mess where I’d felt safe
with hasty marriage thrown into the mix.
Did this kind-hearted stranger know, or care,
that her instruction held a hidden prayer?
Thu, 01 Dec 2011 00:00:00 -0500 If no one on the ground or ocean
was injured when he turned to a noun
what was the loss? His wings were waxen.
He should have known the risk but wanted
always to be a verb: pure motion,
wind on his chest as none could have known,
distance and gravity forsaken.
Simply to be a verb he mounted
higher above the sea, the warming
sun on his back a false homecoming.
Truth was a disappointment. Even
imagination failed to keep him.