You wrote me a letter about things
we lose in forgetfulness pockets, but hold.
Like back when I laid
in the tall summer grass,
praying mantis on my eyelashes
holding up blue sky.
And when grandma sheered the sheep,
soft wool on her lap buried all troubles,
mixed with soot and lard stains of her apron.
That eye of the patient sheep
held the cloudy day sky.
Or when we took grandpa
on his last journey,
and the sandy road,
which all summer was scarred
by our bicycle tires,
now flooded smooth in February melt,
water four feet deep and rising.
Little boats carried us all,
peace by peace,
over to the hill of pines and graves
and we held the teary sky on our ores.
And when we rang the bells of Cathedrals
in cities across Europe,
ascending spiral staircases, dizzy,
from search of unseen rainbows,
plotting escapes, mapping adventures,
stuffing the sky in between travel
books and sandwiches half-eaten
at the hitchhiked roadsides,
holding the starry sky in our backpacks.
Now, I find us sitting,
fire flickering on the metal
knitting sticks and our tongues.
Sometimes we talk of our
rough hands, rough from holding so much.
We talk about sugar scrubs.
Ladies say use much oil and sugar,
The fancied kind, Turbinado, Coconut, imported,
then the slough comes off, and we head
outside into the fresh falling snow,
gleaming like freshborn children:
This is how it feels to hold the sky on our faces!
Photo by R. Cicenas of my childhood farm