Poetry & Prose

Oral Tradition

Mother believes in homeopathic

remedies, and stocks them in sunshine at home,

streaming light, awakening la casa de mío.


One year, we went to see the acrobats,

on display in faraway heat, the air acrid

with new dancers, within us, swinging up to bat.


One year, we went to Philly,

or rather on an adventure, an urban lament,

and examined life by thread, by filament—


filled ourselves wholly, fed our cranium,

lifting ourselves up to see the world from a construction crane

and hoped to be um—


everything. Adjusted our attitude,

beckoned in every still sound but quiet,

and let ourselves pool drip by drip our disquietude.


Mother believes in narration—

in a nation that can be told in quickened rate,

and histories that swell to size.


Unbelieving ancestors perform the part,

and remind us how to play, and tickle,

how to travel and piece together every particle.


And now we remain only to tarry.

Mother has fed in spoonfuls, has laughed, has read it.

All we have left is this: hereditary.

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