Ode to Pliancy

a poem written after reading “Ode to Gossips” by Safia Elhillo

Ode to Pliancy

after reading “Ode to Gossips” by Safia Elhillo

i was mothered by resilient women       some
of them here    some of them                   with

many moons ahead of me       all         resilient
smelling of sage & holy water         all mothers

some of them to     children      some to childish
men acting like husbands and fathers    only half

a man          embodied            in unironed shirts
cigarettes down the throat        rings of emerald

with doting hands                            braiding hair
with choking conversation           swallowed salt

in the car          weak coffee             hair unwound
against the headrest        my demons       each one

a scream through a phone call           a new drop-
let added to the necklace       carnelian and quartz

strong necks sharp collar bones    pretty writing
words never spoken                             obsidian ink

smears on pure paper                                   & they
begin                        i wish                baby is crying

i am going away                             [    ] isn’t home
for good luck                            string another bead

&  create a new start                   can you imagine
this will pass                                              will pass

"Music of Light" by Mia Ohki