It's my birthday. Reflecting on Forty-Eight. (!?!)
I'll go with words from national treasure Maya Angelou:
I'm a womanPhenomenally.That's me.
What is it
that nearly ten years later
is starting to crack
like water pouring off our roof
when the ice dams broke?
You pull me toward you,
not to strike me,
but embracing me in greeting,
like the mountain that loved the bird.
My name is joy.
my head against a pool table
like it was yesterday,
and so I think
your hands at my collarbone
could mean no tomorrow.
I am strong, but you are stronger.
You cradle my head in your hands,
arching toward my lodestone.
You will lead my way.
Sound your horns! I have arrived,
exposed and triumphant.
Tossing in the wind,exercisingunexpected plot twistsbuffeted by passing cars,Times-Roman somersaultson bright white pagesby the hundredstumbled on the highwaylike a Carnival krewe’s confettiwith me as Marshalleading the cavalcadethrough loose chapters,seeing pages of my own verse,nimble on the wind.
Thank you for the hibiscus--gorgeous, like May weekends.Like you.Truth is, I’ve had bad luckkeeping hibiscus alive.But I’ll tackle hibiscus careanew, tendingeach fragile flower,my gift from you.Truth is, you were gorgeouslike a hibiscus, or an angel,but hard to keep alive.I was unpreparedfor how fragileyou were. I read books,lost sleep, prayed to angelsthat you would wakeeach morning.
Now, your wild hair flying,long legs running,stronger-every-day armswrapped around Mama--Mama’s heart wrapped around yours,rememberingyou can be broken still.You’re fragile, we are fragile,flowering still.
Our housewill one dayblow into the ocean;high wireswere rigged to collapse.One sixtiethof one minute in a yearrepresenting all millenniawill be lapped by lava,folded in a cosmic tearof little consequence.If we’re barrellingdown extinction,let’s breathe in this secondand the nextas they pass.