My Mama asks me why my poems are so sad;
Why my words
Slide down her throat like sour gum drops
Chain linked sentences that leave indents on her skin
And flakes of rust in her hair.
I apologize for the bitter aftertaste of my thoughts,
For the blunt pressure of metal
That leaves imprints on your body
I’m sorry Mama,
Sorry for the emotion that fills up the wishing well in my chest
An overflowing bucket of salty water
That flowers don’t dare lay their pretty roots near.
I’m sorry Mama,
For the way others have hurt me
And the tear stains they’ve left on my cheeks.
I’m sorry that you’ve always needed to be the strong one,
The one with all the answers,
The one who can do it all.
I’m sorry that I can’t learn from your mistakes,
That I’m too stubborn;
And dip my hand into boiling water
When I already know it’s going to burn.
I’m sorry I challenge you
And push you,
And ask so much of you.
I lay sticks of dynamite next to your open flame
Just waiting for a stray ember
To ignite chaos;
To ignite and explode.
I’ve shuffled these sorry’s into card decks
Stacked on my shoulders, cardstock
That won’t stay in place.
I’ve forced these thoughts into a little box,
But they were never meant to be organized.
I brush these cards from my shoulders, and fold them
Into origami cranes
That take flight with each passing moment;
And every beat of their wings kiss the sky with my thank you’s to you.
Thank you for your strength.
Thank you for your kindness.
Thank you for your support.
Thank you for teaching me what it means to be loved;
Thank you for teaching me
How to plant seeds of beauty and light,
And love and love and love,
Before I even realized I had a garden of my own.
Thank you Mama.