A sentient being
A newborn fluffy chick
opens innocent eyes.
It is riding the stainless steel processing line
jostled out of its waking state.
This laughless circus will kill it
render it faceless,
although the glossy picture of chicken product
on the waxed cardboard box will be attractive
to subdue consumers.
Its mother is not close or well
her bodyweight excessive for her legss
standing in excrement and hell.
Her only relief is that her term of entrapment
has been shortened from years to forty days.
These are the man-made terms of her ‘natural’ life.
sitting safe, away from unlikely peril
a young girl plays with the woolly hair of her rag doll
her young mama kneels before the soothing sound of rushing water
a river that has fed her, washed her, all her life
mama scrubs at sweat and grease on baba’s soiled singlets and
overalls are prepped for more of the work of living to continue
then the river undermines her foothold
sucks a mother into it, carries her away
almost like a groom sweeps up a bride and cannot wait to be joined as one
there is agony and ecstasy, and agony and pain
her husband – thirty years her senior – they married for love
-not an arranged coupling- he is never to recover or hold her body again.
and a little girl, forever motherless.
when giving birth – according to the celluloid people –
water always has to be boiling
youth plays at being grown up through waterslides, water pistols
bathing, surfing, the young are allowed an affair with water
looking at the chlorinated pool water, an old daughter sees her mothers face reflected back; the dead wishing to hug the living.
when water is splashed on this mature-aged swim student’s face,
she can taste the salt of her tears in the pool water welcoming, waiting for her
water turns a cliff face into beach sand
and steel into rust through it’s adrenalin-fueled wave
an old woman but still a young girl pining for a mother she barely knew,
dips her already prune-like toes into the shallow end of a pool
with one liver-spotted hand with arthritic finger joints gripping the pools edge
( or is it a riverbank?), she lifts only one foot off the pool bottom
still unsure of that moment when life ceases and death takes over
or vice versa, all she knows is that water was involved
and she learns water can also lift her, not just let her sink or swallow her whole or take her out to sea. The living can also float.
water can give life
. water be a tiny drip or tsunami.
from a little girl who had watched her mother get washed away
‘to the orphans on the other side of the world’
this old woman at long last accepts
she too is seventy percent water
perhaps this has been why she has carried the grief of loss in her being
like the crystal formations of water can also carry emotional vibrations
And finally, an old woman is no longer anxiety-riddled by grandchildren in baths or frolicking in a backyard pool.
An old woman is now comfortable to gargle with saltwater … without choking.
An old woman is now keen to drink eight glasses of water a day .
An old woman is no longer hostage to the pain of her childhood.
Chrysanthemum, Poetry d’Amour 2013 – Love Poems for Valentine’s Day,