The Echo of What Remains Collected Poems of Wanda Lea Brayton
— Inspired by the poem "Making a Fist" by Naomi Shihab Nye
Wrapped in ﬁerce desolation, my ﬁngers curved
into a fetal fury and met an unyielding wall.
It was a physics lesson borne of necessity,
fueled by rage at things out of my control,
lacking fault lines, yet falling around my head,
a snow storm burning with blame.
Twenty years later,
my fear trembled as I hoisted a baseball bat -
I stood raw and deﬁant in the face of danger.
I would have swung -
this knowledge devastated me,
cracked the veneer of any innocence I might have had left
tucked into a barricaded corner of my heart.
Then, there was an evening before surgery
when my hands clenched, folding and unfolding
in desperate hues as breath caught in my throat.
My body was ﬁsted against an unsavory world
that would take my life from me
if I only relaxed my grip.
I am still here, and curled.