One of the four led an attack,
loosed the yarn from the skein.
Unraveled thus she flew to the woods
to sort her heart from her brain.
Pinesap and toadstools welcomed her home,
in treetops she spotted birds nests.
It was here she need not think too hard,
here where her heart found rest.
Did the four influence this wandering child,
friend of the thing with feathers?
For in the woods is where she sensed hope
a place where she was untethered.
Panicked that I’d lost my heart,
I use my GPS device to track its location.
Somewhere between brain and breastbone
I am navigated in a new direction:
“Follow the course of the road from the cerebellum along the pituitary.
Now turn left and then turn right at the atria for three beats.”
Tracking the route, I am delayed at the hippocampus.
With a name like hippocampus how can’t it be a fun place?
Long-term, pleasant memories surface:
the ice pond where I skated as a girl,
my first kiss from a boy,
swigs of Boone’s Farm Apple wine,
kelp smells scenting a faded jeans jacket creased with beach sand.
I want to dwell in the hippocampus.
“Course correction, course correction,” my GPS robotically signals.
“You are living in the past. You are not in the now.”
What fun is the Now with its reality of creaky knees, aching feet?
I steer towards hoola-hoop days – spry and supple hips and hearts
and am led to my sisters – both no longer girls — masters of the rolls and twirls.
We sisters approach, tentatively now: thinning hair, a wobbly gait, faulty hearing.
Our impatience and anxiety with each other –
our nervous laughter —
fearing that my tongue will speak the reality of my own truth
and I will offend.
I could be seduced into believing myself and my kinfolk are strangers –
that my heart has disappeared.
(The following poem is by my Mother who died in 2008)
A candle’s but a simple thing —
it starts with just a bit of string.
Yet dipped or molded with patient hand
it gathers wax upon the strand.
Till rainbow-hued or snowy white
it gives at last a lovely light.
Life seems so like that bit of string —
each deed we do a simple thing.
Yet day by day if in life’s strand
we work with patient heart and hand
it gathers joy, makes dark days bright
and gives at last a lovely light.