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

light like feathers

I love you, he says
and I hear him,
and I don’t wish it were any different

The next morning,
when his truck won’t start,
we walk up the hill and
push each other into the snow,
light like feathers
laughing
floating

Today, I try to fight back tears
feel the weight of frustration that
I can’t accept
don’t accept
the love that people offer me
the love that he offers me

I wrote in October that
I want to think of a relationship as
a small, moving piece in the whole of my story,
not the focal point

I want to accept that love is not a promise,
but an acknowledgement
of who we are to each other
right now

How do I allow myself (not force myself)
to feel through the static
of past trauma
without giving it the power
to define who I am and
how my relationships are
today?

-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