KEEPING AWAKE

KEEPING AWAKE

. . . you, beloved, are not in darkness..

for you are all children of light and children of the day…

So then let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake… 

~I Thessalonians 5:4-6

 

Stories grow in the night

like flames reaching upward.

I am old and small and dry,

but the seanchaí says that

I shall bear a child.

The white flower bloomed

after the frost when every

other thing was dead. I could

smell its perfume in the dark.

Under my father’s hospital gown,

the work clothes he was wearing

all along. Where does the good

news begin? Why is every

one so afraid? I know of an orchard

overgrown with thorns. Yellow

birds nest in the broken trees

and deer come at twilight to feast

on fallen fruit. Once upon a time

my grandmothers flew

into my kitchen as I measured

cinnamon into the dough. My hands

are not my own. All those black

men shot are my sons; their mothers

cry my sisters’ tears. The raven I moved

to the side of the road arose

and circled my head three times.

 

Only some of these things are dreams.

 

December 8, 2014

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