I believe in transformation,
I believe in the power of the
the eating of lessons and
the uncurling of fetal winters.
I believe in the stillness of
calm after storm
the redressing of old wounds
and the snakeskin-shed of bandages.
I believe anger is grief in new clothes,
I believe violence her stillborn child.
Wrapped in cloth and carried
over our jagged terrain, cradled
in the skeletal arms of the dead.
I believe in the fading of scars,
the catching of tears in the old jelly jar,
and drinking in their medicine.
I believe in transformation.
And the movement beyond.
[Justice was first published in the Spring 2020 issue of CURA Magazine]
Death and Waking
Thank you for the reminder.
I suppose I needed it.
Had almost forgotten to
squeeze your hand upon parting.
I won’t ever do it again.
Or at least not when I think of it.
I’ll finish the fight before bed.
Make sure I’m calling my mother.
Sure, sometimes I’ll fall into old ways,
Patterns of habits formed in my sleep.
Sweat rings embroidered into my pillow,
when I was dreaming of life without death.
But I am awake now,
Still drying my clothes from the freezing bath,
Picking icicles out of my hair.
I promise to cherish it here.
The Gendering of Cotacachi
With each fragmented patch of earth,
that Andean sun-god catches her step
until she is falling against the wayra,
toward the mud fence at the foot of
her curves; this mountain her homeland.
A mother, that hushed story-teller,
whispered to wide-eyed babes,
the aged myths of the mountain.
Told of how the sleeping volcano appeared
to dreaming men as woman, blonde, blue,
and pigeon-toed; her deformities
aberrant, but captivatingly beautiful.
THE LAST HAIRCUT For Patricia Connolley Schaefer (1938 - 2016) I remember folding hair between blades, cut/comb cut/comb cut/comb gray straw dried as candlewax I remember trying not to break them fragile strands I’d known so well cut/comb cut/comb cut/comb dull shears a dangerous dance I remember touching your crown skin-cracked and peeling there cut/comb cut/comb cut/comb like old newspaper clippings breaking between fingers I remember smelling your scent sweet smoke and dryer sheets cut/comb cut/comb cut/comb trimmed pieces falling like leaves I remember your gratitude When the cut was nearly done cut/comb cut/comb cut/comb your kiss on my cheek your frail embrace I remember loving you then Hair wrapped ‘round my finger cut/comb cut/comb cut/comb not yet foreseeing this last goodbye
Justice and other poems © Rachel Lauren Storm