show me how you sit.
show me how you raise your hand.
how do you shape a prayer?
show me what grasps my finger,
newborne ripe, unwavering.
show me a broken finger, now healed.
show me where you sleep.
will I see a beginning or end of a universe?
show me a needle and thread.
show me a basket you made by hand.
show me coincidence.
show me reasons why.
show me the bottom of your shoe.
show me counting to ten. fingers or toes?
show me a golden thread.
show me your feet when you first awake.
show me bare roots. waiting rain.
show me the palm of your hand.
show me where thoughts germinate.
show me a broken wing. does it still write
words inside our sky?
make me a painting that sees my face.
show me an ocean made of plums.
show me syllables, spoken words in a bowl,
one perfect sentence. listening.
show me that.
pine tree needle basket and stone arrowheads, made and found by Virginia, my mother, close to home when she was young.
Maybe this time I’ll rescue my Mother.
Pearl Harbor will just be a sleepy port of call.
Nobody came & nobody went away from home.
Nothing lost. No wedding bells.
We’ll gaze at the mist of plum blossoms
on the wide valley floor. Feed my lambs, someone
said. Someone loves like wind. No shunted hopes,
no brown uniform thrown on the bed.
His face won’t be in that photograph.
His face won’t look like mine. Nothing
gambled, lost in the high desert dust.
No frozen clothes on a winter line.
Brothers will just be brothers, won’t
go speechless in the silent light of home.
Although that one of them, he’ll still
go to Alaska on a tall sail ship.
He’ll still die, an artful youth of a man.
Some things just gotta be. Else no
wonder of clay, no sister on my desk.
Maybe Grandfather & Grandmother
will harvest ample roots on the rock-strewn
sides of farmers hills. No drought.
Maybe Mother will land covered in Spring rain.
Maybe she’ll smile, never knowing
I changed everything, including me.
read footnotes about this poem
here, here look at my son.
he is larger than me. much. larger than my husband too. larger than either of us.
I hold my husband’s hand as we walk to market down the late morning street, my arm within my son’s arm.
sometimes my son steps out ahead, as when we cross the street, but then soon he is back at my side.
I walk down the street in between my husband and my son, hand in hand, arm in arm. here’s my son. my gratitude.