Wednesday, November 14, 2007


It's midsummer night. The light is skinny;
a thin skirt of desire skims the earth.
Dogs bark at the musk of other dogs
and the urge to go wild.
I am lingering at the edge
of a broken heart, striking relentlessly
against the flint of hard will.
It's coming apart.
And everyone knows it.
So do squash erupting into flowers
the color of the sun.
So does the momentum of grace
gathering allies
in the partying mob.
The heart knows everything.
I remember when there was no urge
to cut the land or each other into pieces,
when we knew how to think
in beautiful.
There is no world like the one surfacing.
I can smell it as I pace my square room,
the neighbor's television
entering my house by waves of sound.
Makes me think of buying
a new car, another kind of cigarette
when I don't need another car
and I don't smoke cigarettes.
A human mind is small when thinking
of small things.
It is large when embracing the maker
of walking, thinking and flying.
If I can locate the sense beyond desire,
I will not eat or drink
until I stagger into the earth
with grief.
I will locate the point of dawning
and awaken
with the longest day in the world.
-Joy Harjo

I heard Joy Harjo tonight.
I am listening to one of her CDs
Poetic Justice: Letter From the End of the Twentieth Century right now.
I like her. She makes sense to me.

I talked to my mother today.
I don't talk about her much.
I've had my issues with her plus she had a severe stroke when I was 13.

Today I asked her when I was born.
2:32 am on a Monday.
My dear father had said between 4 and 5 a.m.
Sorry, but I believe the one that actually gave birth to me,
endured the pain.

This is why I bought a ticket to see her over the holidays
despite it all.
The excitement in her voice makes me feel slightly guilty.
This woman gave birth to me
and remembers the time and day I was born.
Can I love her despite
the "not Margaret" decisions?


Carol Gee said...

Good post, Margaret. I like your poem, and I'd probably like your mother. Hope your visit goes well, or, at least tolerable. I hope your holidays are refreshing. My regards, Carol

margaret said...

I love the poem, Carol Gee. Thanks for the kind words about my mom. I love her dearly even though I get a little anxious before seeing her.