Friday, February 03, 2006

i knew to stand in your presence.

for the woman on Bus 56

broken toed and wincing,
i had to rise to your occasion

on this bus - cinnamon mahogany
elder woman. skin and bones

unfurling that personal song
of my own DNA. You paraded

my grandmother’s bone straight back
as if it were your own. hands

fuller than her crepe paper
flesh - festive and funereal

over bones -
I last remember...

her flawless skin
hospital light highlighted

perfect bone structure
like the torn wrapping paper smile

you gave me.
crippled and tired -

it was obvious,
some kind of home training

had knocked my head right.
underneath all modern ailments

love still honours strange kin.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow!
Hi Christina - I've been reading your blog since we started the Friday Class at the City Lit but wanted to post a comment on this poem because it, quite simply, blew me away.
You told us about the bus and how you reprimanded the guy for not standing, but this poems tells me so much more.
I love the link between this lady and your own grandmother, "that personal song of (your) own DNA". I also love that the lady on the bus is an "elder" woman rather than an "elderly" one, because it conveys the respect and honour that caused you to "rise to (her) occasion".
But it was the last line that provoked the "Wow" response - "Love still honours strange kin". What a beautiful tribute to the woman on Bus 56 and what a fitting testament to your grandmother, and the "home training" she has passed down.
Thank you.
Victoria G