Birthday

mist_gardenI was born during a
thunderstorm.  That’s
what they told me, anyway.  It was
10:32 PM and storming .
I could have started
with “It was a dark
and stormy night.” But
I didn’t. It looks
like the weather is getting
ready to celebrate tonight
with rain and thundering – HAPPY
BIRTHDAY!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Clothesline

idlewild_clothesline

Hanging clothes on a line
strung between trees. All
connected, clothespin to
line to clothespin.

A squirrel hunter once charged
toward me through the woods.
Making me remember another
mother hanging a fluffy,
white mitten, mistaken for
a leaping whitetail deer.

I take down the slightly
stiff clothes, folding them into
the basket.

Sewing Machine

sewing

Sewing machine

The sewing machine sits on
the table.

Mean-ma locks her children
outside, snowsuits tightly
zipped.

Tiny flowered fabric
I never finished
“it didn’t look like
me.”

Olive mini dress,
new afro
smiling on grandmother’s porch.

My sister’s blue sleeves sewn
backwards
while the ’67 riot raged
neighbors shared liquor from a
looted store.

My mother pouring rum out,
hammering the bottle to
bits.