A Dreamer Studies Her Palm

dreamerRivers run through my hand

and I feel the flapping of wings —

migrant birds that come

to nest and feed. The wind

combing through their bodies

with moist heat.

 

Rivers run through my hand

and I feel women scrubbing stains

out of their clothing , or is it sin

out of their souls?

 

My mother cried, saying

she had to cross

and cross again to survive,

bed down with coyotes

to stay warm

and keep from drowning.

 

Rivers run through my hand;

their water tingles with salt —

and I feel the mangrove

letting go of leaf and snail

that has been clinging to its roots

for years. And those roots

keep numbing themselves against

an island that that slips away

in slow days of erosion.

 

Its status dissolving

in a pool of silt and shadow,

dark mirror of water

that has become the mirror

of children. But look

 

their reflection

does not focus, it wavers

in the brackish glass

and breaks into journeys

running toward and away

from something they can’t control.

 

And those journeys cut

through the delta of my palm

 

as I feel the flapping of wings

and the twinge of shoulders

as a woman watches

the cotton stitching of her blouse

catch on a rock.

 

She knows as my mother knew

how the binding of this, other efforts and ties

can so easily rip apart.

 

 

 

 

 

2 comments

  1. Wendy,

    “The river runs through” and the flapping of wings
    each serve to set the tone. It immediately pulls the reader
    into your poem.

    “as I feel the flapping of wings

    and the twinge of shoulders

    as a woman watches

    the cotton stitching of her blouse

    catch on a rock.”

    Magical and totally transforming.

    sarah

    Like

  2. Hi Sarah

    Your comments always make me feel like my work matters, has some sort of significance; and that means a great deal to me. THANKYOU! This was written really for the plight of the DACA children. The dreamers in this country who everyday fear deportation. My heart goes out to them and I envisioned one of them looking at her palm and perceiving not only the uncertainty of her own future but of others as well. Hopefully, congress will act and do something to secure their status, identities and future.

    Again, thank you!
    Take care
    Wendy

    Like

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