On Writing Poetry

The women in my family
are filled with sadness. A
groundswell of grief that
moves and motions, soundless
memory, a wave that breaks
in a forgotten place,
yet still pulls and
shoals from deep
to shallow to deep
to shore.
I feel it in me,
rolling down, pulsing
down. Mother to daughter
to daughter to daughter,
down and down; and under
our skin there is wound
sixty-thousand miles of bloody
pathway, all that vessel and tissue
that loops and loops as we live
our lives together.
We slide. We crawl
and kick. We grab and hold
what we can and we pray
as we were taught to pray,
our skirts held close above
our knees, lips in motion
submitting our mouths
around laments we were
promised would hold
the weight of our sorrow.
And does He hear? We
ask as we sing, as we scream.
But I’ve seen no answers,
in the shrinking sky, and
I am no longer asking for forgiveness.
What I want is here, in
the pull, the undertow, the choke.
The pathways still pulsing,
the grief,
as it swells,
still cresting.

– Sandi Day

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