Cloak of Life

I.

When I was first born, swaddled in a blanket was I

with a white cotton diaper wrapped four corner

pinned with non-fancy pink or yellow ducks (Don’t pin the baby)

plastic pants singing to my cooing grandparents.

I was cloaked in the life of infantile adoration

II.

In most neighborhoods, much like yours or yours

there is a coming of age where you must decide

the grade of sheets you wished to slumber upon

Prison grade? Military Grade? Dorm Grade? Or

Hand-me-down childhood covered in favorite cartoons?

Cloaked in hope and ambition!

III.

When you lay your head upon your lover’s breast

Thump-Thump! Thump-Thump! Thump-Thump!

Dreaming awake together of chronological success

House-Car-Kids! House-Car-Kids! House-Car-Kids!

D-d-divorce! (Like a trumpet)

Grow Old! (Like a lighthouse horn)

Remarry (Like “Jane, his Wife” from the Jetsons)

Don’t Worry, Die Happy (Like Bobby McFerrin who is inspiring AF)

Cloaked in life’s chaotic awe inspiring wonder (Like you)

IV.

The final shroud laid

body of dust beneath

Charon has been paid

tormented bequeathed

A soul’s end masquerade

buried in frozen heath

Grieve the mother’s serenade

laying the cloak of life’s wreath.

The Winter Baby

These Are My People: Lydia Khandro

Dried brown leaves and gray branches of solemn cycle

ignite to become golden lakes of wild hip-deep depths

The Blue Ridge Mother bears twice the ritual witness

standing cool, wrapped in the garment of her ancestor,

cradling her Divinity with skirts raising winds of power.

Her hair halos with the light of life, love, and nurturing.

She is the Great Mother bearing her Winter-born in holiness

Fifty year drought

babydoll

I had a baby.

Her name didn’t/doesn’t matter.

She lay in her stroller with her arms outstretched.

I smiled down at her, cooing gentle words of love.

I swaddled her a bit tighter against the chill.

As each car passed on the nearly vacant street,

I’d sing a little louder so they’d know I was a mom.

It’s all I ever wanted to be.

INTERLUDE

The MMR wasn’t created when I was born.

When my brother came along and got his,

nobody thought to inoculate me.

At twelve years old, my throat and neck hurt so badly.

My mom gave me a dill pickle (LOVE THEM) but I couldn’t swallow.

Diagnosis: The mumps.

Aged and married: Clomid, Pergonal, temperatures, acne, painful periods,

nothing. nothing. nothing.

Failed adoption. Ectopic miscarriage, failed adoption

GUARDIANSHIP x two!

Rejected for violence. Rejected for drugs.

nothing. nothing. nothing.

PART TWO

ultrasound

You can’t possibly know how many times I’ve been gracious,

how many times I’ve oohed and aah-ed over black gray blobs

What it’s like to see beautiful mothers holding their beautiful babies

while my arms hold back my sadness, my longing, my relief.

I’m not resentful that they have my dreams wrapped in their love.

I’m not angry that their wishes came true. I’m not even upset.

PART THREE

birth-control-1

Am I less than a woman for not showing proof of fertility?

Am I less than a woman for my body’s refusal to carry life?

I feel betrayed each time blood flows from my barren womb.

All of the pain, emotions, heating pads, and carb stuffing…for what?

Another reminder that I’m not like the others. Another storm trooper miss.

 

 

The Wailing Wall

I used to know a baby that shined a holy halo from the crown of his head.

When anger or hurt would come near him he’d shiver and cower in his bed.

The rawness of the world took away his glow, even then as an infant small,

He knew that everything he’d do would not be enough to save them all.

I once knew a boy that shined a dimming halo from the crown of his head

He used anger or hurt that came near him as his tools against the dread

The blackness in the world stole away his glow, even then as a boy not tall,

He knew that anything he’d do wouldn’t be enough to save his own downfall.

I once knew a man that shined a flourishing coin between his fingers misled

When aggressive words would punish him, he’d just smile with his words unsaid.

The evils of the world had shown him what to know, but his spirit heard the call

He knew that everything he owned was becoming holy, his bed his own prayer shawl.

I used to know a man that shined a holy halo from the crown upon his head.

No anger, hurt, or hypocrisy could touch him as he’d stand tall among the dead.

The disregard of the material plane was now everything, he’d shed

The rawness of the world returned his spirit glow, even as he’s enthralled

He knew that his place as a “Miracle Man” was found at the Wailing Wall.