GENERATIONAL LINES-!Looking through dimensions,mirroring...

October 27, 1993|By Anna McGarity SHIVERED SAND (

GENERATIONAL LINES

-!

Looking through dimensions,

mirroring generations, I see

myself through your face.

The same blur-grey eyes you gave

to my mother, light brown hair

moving in around your aging face,

soft pink lips shaping words

I can't understand, they are

all mine.

fTC I trace the lines

defining your face,

beneath your eyes, around

your mouth.

You said each has a story, each

a name.

Mine, a small fracture,

lies along the border of your hair

and face.

Pointing to the deep crack in

your forehead,

you say as it swallows your face,

"This one belongs to your mother"

over and over to a small,

% pale, grey-eyed girl.

You said I'd inherit these lines

with your wedding band and

your pain,

but I have my own, and yes

there is one

with your name

across my fresh cheek. If I must write to you

it will be of things

that do not count.

A resume of bloody

knees, thunderstorms --

Christmas Eves.

Paragraphs to cite

Incidental things.

I almost drowned when

I was two.

Eight months later,

you arrived -- jaundiced

yellow, cultured

in an incubator --

small chance survival,

would we have fought

so hard if we knew?

Small town

(I know now with distance)

eyes peering into closets,

kitchens (our closet

our kitchen) sizing up

threadbares, paltry provisions

sisters speaking of things

that do not count.

I pull you onto the sandbar,

your skin as cold as surf,

veined blue.

Helpless slapping

face and wrists --

taste of salt,

shivered sand. You

breathe. That is enough.

Inconsequential things . . .

Ruth Dominguez

These poems were first published in Soup, a literary journal at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

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