Wendy Brown-Baez - sample poems
Wendy Brown-Baez - words to light our way
Recuerdos (Souvenirs)
 
I remember the gentle waves and how we put our feet in the water and sang.
The sky piercing blue. Seals came out to play on the rocks.
 
No one else was there.
The wind sunk to a whisper. Wine warmed by sun.
 
We passed the bottle back and forth. I laughed that we had slipped away.
Your eyes serious like the sea.
 
We broke bread and dipped it in olive oil.
Somewhere we had found a cracked dish.
 
We spit olive pits into the sand. My hands were oily,
I smeared them on my chapped feet.
 
Shells were washed up in the surf.
You shook your wild hair, mammal or mermaid.
 
We had to shield our eyes from the sun spatter on the sea.
We knew when it was time to go.
 
I don’t remember anything we said. Only the sweetness of ripe tomato.
You always carried salt in your bag.
 
We were young. No one had died yet.
The stretch marks on my belly were iridescent.
 
My silver necklace had six turquoise stones, one had
fallen into the sea, my offering. 

—© Wendy Brown-Báez       
 
published in Water~Stone Review 2017




Gratitude
 
I want to remember that I was hungry so that I never forget to say thank you over a meal, an orange, a sliced cucumber, just picked strawberries from the garden, a gift of Christmas cookies.
 
I want to remember that I was confused and lost and yet I found my way. I learned to ask for help. I learned that I am not alone. Let me never forget that where I belong is exactly where I am.
 
I want to remember that I was cold so I will bless the sun, the heat, the hot water, hot pad, blankets on a bed, a shawl around my shoulder.
 
I want to remember that I was exhausted and let my body stretch and release into shavasana while my breath rose and fell in a rhythm of contentment.
 
I want to remember that the grief threatened to carry me over the edge. I could not unfold my wings scorched from the burning of my child’s body into ash. The edge between madness and the ability to carry on, the dance between oblivion and love, feeling that one more day in such pain was impossible. And yet I walked step by step and took one more breath while my wings were repaired by the loving hands of friends and angels and my own determined self.
 
I want to remember that I was terrified and did it anyway. That I was angry and choose words instead of a fist. That I was betrayed and learned forgiveness. That I was a stranger and found home wherever I could light a candle, say a prayer, learn a name.
 
I want to remember that I stood in darkness in order to adore the light, I stood in silence in order to find my voice.
 
I want to remember my tears and the way 
they brought me salt.

—© Wendy Brown-Báez 
   
 published in We'Moon datebook 2016

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