Swoosh

 In Ground Work

Sometimes it takes decades, and sometimes just a moment…

Growing Up and Out

(2000)

I grew up,
into me,
not who you wanted
me to be.
You remember,
and so do I,
that I would do
all you said,
that I would be
who you said,
when I was small.

That little girl
seemed to need
you, so much.
But look closer,
through the prism
of the years,
and it is you
who clung so hard.
And I answered
your need—
being yours.

But now I’m not.
Now, I belong to me
and to the earth
and to the sea
and to the sky
I grew up and out, like a plant
drawing nurture through my roots,
drinking deeply of the waters,
reaching toward the light.
Unqualified love is not jealous,
it says not who I should be.

Swoosh

(2022)

There comes a day,
a moment even,
when you know
the struggle is over.
You have chosen
that your struggle is over.
Anyone else’s is not yours
to fight—for or against.

But blood is thicker than water,
voices echo in your ears,
to which you reply,
“The rivers flowing within and without—
my blood, my tears—matter too.”
The rhythm of your heart,
in that moment come,
beats sure—let go, let go, let go.

In the surrendering,
you are free
to shape a life that soars,
the ropes of familial guilt
that tethered you your whole long life before,
finally cut
with the sweep of your own sword.
The sound of its swoosh music to your ears.

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Showing 3 comments
  • Garry Maurath
    Reply

    Hey Deb, Some of your best work ever!!!!

  • Anna
    Reply

    Deb, I love the artwork and my FMA brain went “I know that pose!” quickly followed by “I want to meet that artist”. My heart loves the last paragraph of the 2022 poem the most, as the “ropes of familial guilt” are a hard thing to cut through.

  • Sharon Galkin
    Reply

    Honestly, a bit painful to read – but I hope the music to your ears is, at the end of the day, a beautiful symphony.

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