In Ages Past

I will one day become a grandmother in a wooden rocking chair,
hair dusted over by the willowy waltz of passing time. A cataract memory,
mind sheltered by the wedding veils of unblemished maidens
long after the receptions have ended.

My granddaughter will see right through my fossilized transparency
and she will smile, for she will only see my frosted forgetfulness,
eternities buried within my scattered steps
as I remember how to walk each morning.

She will never understand–
not until my fragile bones find home within dampened earth,
that her grandmother was a poet.
That I, of countless melted birthday candles and weary stumbling,
was once seventeen with poetry embedded in my irises,
pounding to the cadence of my pulse.

Once, I was a poet.
I ran barefoot in the neighborhood streets,
aching soles on summer concrete, finding solace
in between the sidewalk cracks of smaller worlds.
Once, I was a poet,
and I found comfortable silence within the rhythmic thumping of typewriter keys
past unspeakable hours, graceful ink spilling symphonies onto paper,
every rejection letter promised potential,
every love an image to be painted with the soft brush of syllables.

She will notice my hands tremble.
Here, grandma, let me help you, she’ll say.
Celestial, it was, the pitiful gaze of the naive.
I let her pour my coffee, observing slim hands move with ease,
peaceful, calm, the apricot sunsets I used to chase
at seventeen, forever engraved on the backs of my heavy eyelids.

Once,  I was a poet,
and I wrote of my lover like someone handcrafted
by the calloused hands of an existing God,
how easily the blazing fires of youth melted
into promises creased inside sealed envelopes.

I do not recognize her anymore,
the reflection who pours my coffee today.
She has my lover’s eyes, his unforgettable opals of poetry
that are nothing but faded recollections
of the muse I used to be.

My darling,
I still see you. You are still here.

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