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My poem in The Wi​ld Word

My poem in Talking Writing

Prerequisite


Recuerdos (Souvenirs)


I remember the gentle waves and how we put our feet in the water and sang.

The sky piercing blue. Seals came out to play on the rocks. 


No one was there.

The wind sunk to a whisper. Wine warmed by sun.


We passed the bottle back and forth. I laughed that we had slipped away.

Your eyes serious like the sea.


We broke bread and dipped it in olive oil.

Somewhere we had found a cracked dish.


We spit olive pits into the sand. My hands were oily,

I smeared them on my chapped feet.


Shells washed up in the surf.

You shook your wild hair, mammal or mermaid.


We had to shield our eyes from the sun spatter on the sea.

We knew when it was time to go.


I don’t remember anything we said. Only the sweetness of ripe tomato.

You always carried salt in your bag.


We were young. No one had died yet.

The stretch marks on my belly were iridescent.


My silver necklace had six turquoise stones and one had

fallen into the sea, my offering.



© Wendy Brown-Baez

first appeared in Water~Stone Review 2017


****************************************************************************************************

Thresholds


If you had stopped

to watch the swans

glide across the pond

and resisted the impulse

to take out your cell phone

to snap a photo

then you might understand

why I am here,

why I will never

again step into

a crowded noisy

bar even though for

years that was my

form of flight.


If you looked up

and noticed the ducks

have landed on the

pitch of the neighbor’s roof

as you carried the heavy

canvas bag of groceries,

not complaining

that the bus was late,

you will know that

the door to serenity has opened.


If you could

surrender the

time you think

you have to stillness,

marking your

heart in its measured

beat until

you feel a labyrinth

under your feet,

songs will

rise up from

bones and wings will

fill with light.


—© Wendy Brown-Báez

first appeared in Thresholds, Cracked Walnut 


*******************************************************************************************************


Gratitude

 

I want to remember that I was hungry so that I never forget to say thank you over a meal, an orange, a sliced cucumber, just picked strawberries from the garden, a gift of Christmas cookies.

 

I want to remember that I was confused and lost and yet I found my way. I learned to ask for help. I learned that I am not alone. Let me never forget that where I belong is exactly where I am.

 

I want to remember that I was cold so I will bless the sun, the heat, the hot water, hot pad, blankets on a bed, a shawl around my shoulder.

 

I want to remember that I was exhausted and let my body stretch and release into shavasana while my breath rose and fell in a rhythm of contentment.

 

I want to remember that the grief threatened to carry me over the edge. I could not unfold my wings scorched from the burning of my child’s body into ash. The edge between madness and the ability to carry on, the dance between oblivion and love, feeling that one more day in such pain was impossible. And yet I walked step by step and took one more breath while my wings were repaired by the loving hands of friends and angels and my own determined self.

 

I want to remember that I was terrified and did it anyway. That I was angry and choose words instead of a fist. That I was betrayed and learned forgiveness. That I was a stranger and found home wherever I could light a candle, say a prayer, learn a name.

 

I want to remember that I stood in darkness in order to adore the light, I stood in silence in order to find my voice.

 

I want to remember my tears and the way they brought me salt.

 

—© Wendy Brown-Báez