By Retta Lewis
The Memory of Mother
Will anything be said or done To ensure the memory of mother? The whole world witnessed her rise and fall, And now the rise again. Who will do as much As we know she did for us? Who will speak her truth, And not make lies of it? Who will do for her What has she done for time? Who will speak her name? Who will do these things? What will they say, Or attempt to say, And how will we give it meaning?
After this pause, Maybe I’ll want to perform In the circus That sponsored this new edge To my insight; Maybe the words that slid off the tongue To shape three thousand of my nights, Won’t seem as sharp as a blades Slice through flesh, Or as deep, Or jaggedly drawn. Maybe the day will begin To yield to day, And maybe I will concede, And begin to yield to it.
And Among Its Ruins I Found
Denied a life I did not seek, I vowed to seek Its opposite; And among its ruins I found The same uneven truths; The same denials, And phony access To all I did not want. The same rejection and deceit. A fame of margins and degrees, Outside of which I lived and breathed, And vowed, but found no opposite.
A Line Drawn in The Sand
When truth became more than a line drawn in the sand, And a fearful knowledge, And terrible wisdom came, Perhaps it was to be expected That the natives would become restless; That men of many theories, And fraught conspiracies, Would reach for heights Beyond the human journey. Enough to rival a catalogue Of ideologies, And yet, it was not beneath them. A reign of questionable worth, And of ignobility Would follow in their wake. Every narrative a grift, And each century a fire— In their own way blazing trails, In their own way making history.
The New Ones
With their theories on life— And no use for its symbols— New starry-eyed hopefuls Are beginning to signify, As chaos stands poised to engulf them. Their voices will not whisper, But roar. Defending none with lies, They will speak loud, And without forgiveness. They will not bow, Nor be defined, By a way that is, Or used to be. A million dreams will crash and burn, A million stars will shudder and fall. They will build without a blueprint, They will fail and learn no fear. You will see their ways, You will know their methods. Every story will make it in, Or they will build upon the ashes.
Retta Lewis’ work has appeared in past journals like Onionhead, Free Focus, Wide Open Magazine, and Up Against the Wall, Mother, and more recently her work has appeared in Children, Churches & Daddies, Caveat Lector, Rigorous, Ephemeral Elegies, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, and Penumbra Online. Lewis’ day job is working in a field devoted to the prevention of Domestic Violence.
One thought on “The Memory of Mother and Other Poems”
Powerful poems, Retta. Keep sharing your voice!