a lesson in the garden on acceptance

what is a whole person
is it someone who did not
collapse under the weight of
brittle hair and
powdered donuts for dinner

maybe a whole person never
saw their mother run her nails
down her face by the water
fountain at the mall on a
scheduled visitation

subtle and not-so-subtle cues
tell you to to search for yourself
and complete yourself so you
can be whole and big and only then
can another person love you
so hard

but a whole person, (whoever that is)
does not have a cavern
inside them
room to fill with (sometimes) light
(sometimes) darkness
(sometimes) water
(sometimes) soil

in the garden, before the frost
i harvested butternut squash,
tomatillos, sun gold tomatoes,
painted desert corn

the squash – still green
the tomatillos – still space in the husks
the tomatoes – still unripe
the corn – still unfilled kernels

i am telling you that
i took these, in my hands
unfinished as they were

and i ate them.
and they sustained me.

-A

adoption

memory, 3. i am in the room, the one with the games and toys and
the glass windows
so they can see and document
the interaction

my mother’s blond curls are covered by a pink bucket hat
“i like your hat,” i tell her
so she takes it off her head, and hands it to me
to keep.

memory, 9. i am in my room, the one i shared with my sister
and now it’s mine and i hide a box
underneath my bed

it contains old letters, cds marked
“the jimi hendrix experience” and
“pink floyd dark side of the moon”,
a music box, and an
old pink bucket hat

memory, 18. i am in the room, the one he’s been
living in, battling the cancer, my mother is
here too and she is crying.

i came from my factory job, second shift
i put on his
shoes and jacket for him, then take them off
as he requests

such an odd feeling, to be somewhere
but feel so
far away

memory, 23. i am on the other side of the room, the
one with games and toys and
the glass windows
so i can see and document
the interaction

little boy, blond curls crying on the floor
his mother failed another drug test
this week but
she brought him a new
coloring book

memory, 26. i am in the room, the one i go
to every week to talk

when she asks me to draw
what it looks like, what it feels like
i choose the color pink,
think a moment, and draw
roots

-A