Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Tattooed Poets Project, Day 28 (part 2): Meredith S.

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's
Oak rocking chair:
Crumpled hands resting in
well worn wooden grooves-
The sway of your light blue,
Sweat stained nightgown
Lapping at the sagging skin
Covering your calves.
The room, a cave of linoleum and
Damp musky air is dim,
The only light that gently radiates
Is from a collection of dirty worn potholders
That I thumb between
my long fingers and rough palms.
I breathe the thick air,
Taste the sickness sour on my tongue
And look back at the waves gently
Lapping 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 as
I stand behind you like
A guardian of all things unsaid:
Your mouth parts, I reach down and
Suddenly your mouth is gaping wider and wider:
Jaw unhinging and your skull opening
Like the cherished music boxes
you 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!

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