Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Still Here (Inspired by Naomi Shihab Nye)

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.