As I explained over on Tattoosday, we had a surplus of poems from tattooed poets, so I've doubled up and made it a "Two-for -Tattoosday". Today's second poem is from Meredith S.:
Edelweiss (to my mother)
You sit in grandmother'sOak rocking chair:Crumpled hands resting inwell worn wooden grooves-The sway of your light blue,Sweat stained nightgownLapping at the sagging skinCovering your calves.
The room, a cave of linoleum andDamp musky air is dim,The only light that gently radiatesIs from a collection of dirty worn potholdersThat I thumb betweenmy long fingers and rough palms.
I breathe the thick air,Taste the sickness sour on my tongueAnd look back at the waves gentlyLapping against your bones.You turn, smile slightly sweetly,A look that signals a burst of lucidity-I whimper a shouting whisper:"I love you, but I cannot be your friend."You nod, register and the air grows thick again.
I cup your sharp jawbone,Clench a hand that once swaddled me,Whisper into an ear once tuned to my cries:"I forgive you"
The cave has become stagnant-The air unbearable asI stand behind you likeA guardian of all things unsaid:Your mouth parts, I reach down andSuddenly your mouth is gaping wider and wider:Jaw unhinging and your skull openingLike the cherished music boxesyou bought me as a child;The stench of rotten meat fills the thick air:I am awake.
Meredith S. was raised in a small town in north Louisiana. It wasn't until she moved to New Orleans when she was 18 that she found a city to call home. After her mother disappeared due to a drug addiction, Meredith moved to New York four years ago in search of a new home. She now resides in Brooklyn with her pug, Piggy.
See a tattoo inspired by her mother over on Tattoosday here.
Thanks to Meredith for contributing to this project!