October 25, 2021

the remedy


here, the woman says, drink this
she is holding a mug in her old tired hands
knuckles like tree knobs
rough like tree trunks
what’s in it, I ask
it looks like mud pulled from under a cypress tree in a swamp
drink it up, she says again
so I begin
it is bitter and boiling
it burns as it goes down and I want to spit it out, but I don’t and she tells me
it is made from the tears of your grandmother’s mother and her daughters and the ones before her
your grandfather’s pride and anger and spite he tries to pass as respect
his sons’ split lips and the ones before them
the aching of men who never felt a gentle hand from their fathers until they fell into another man’s arms
it is made from the grief of generations who do not know what their home feels like under their feet
they have never felt the mud between their toes
never seen their mother ocean or heard their mother tongue
it was made from the ones who have never felt tenderness between their knees
they were taken from the womb too soon
it is made from the cries of truth that were buried as lies from an unsound mind
they always say the women are crazy and their pleas for help they covered in dust
it is made from the broken bones and blood of every being you came from
she stops
my cup is empty
my breathing is heavy and my insides are burning
I can feel my ribs cracking
what did I drink up
she looks at me and says most never make it this far
then she puts her old tired hands in mine
those knuckles like tree knobs
rough like tree trunks and tells me
but in it, there is also love
can you taste it
there is just a little bit of it
but it is there
and it is up to you to make the next cup

poetry by where she grows, healing from generational trauma. self healing poetry

from my third poetry book, Made of Earth.