Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Poetry: "Bleeding heart"

I ask for prayer instinctively.
Ignoring the wince of the new-cut wound
I focus on your hands, for
mine are not strong enough
to bear me or part of me.
My heart hangs heavy,
aorta strained, artery straining.
My ribs run red in blood.
I have read that the heart,
of our many organs, when torn
is medically simple to repair.
Like rich leather, the tough muscles
take stitches like a lover’s embrace.
Yet none of the bindings offered
hold my veins together.
Bring me spiderwebs, fishing line,
baling twine, barbed wire;
none of it can staunch the spread.
All I can be bound by
are all these hands, joined,
like the many-armed Guanyin.
Hold me in prayer
because nothing else can.
It may not save my life
but at least I will die held.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Poetry: "A woman who looked like God"

One child very much alive,
one at the point of death.
I walked out the screen door of my heart
and laid in the grass of the wide backyard.
A woman who looked like God
walked close and sat beside me.
I turned to ask her Whybut saw her face.
Beyond haggard and full of joy,
like the mother of ten billion children,
like a mother who’d seen a hundred children grow
to be more than she’d ever dreamed for them,
like a mother who’d buried a thousand million more
before she had the breath to name them.
“I tried,” she said.
“I know,” I said,
and covered her hand with mine
as she wept.