all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein

all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein
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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

poem after surgery

Tablespoons of chocolate pudding.
Gospel music slicing through rain.
Tabloid literature on the coffee table.
Three o’clock in the morning and still awake.
A bright red shirt.
A new pair of walking shoes.
Sex.
Avocados.
Tomato soup.
The two blocks to the train.
The sound of the doorbell.
The heady smell of the cheese shop.
Laughter.
An oval tablet four times a day.
Glasses and glasses of water.
A vase of orange tulips winking open.
The careful art of bathing.
A scar you already love.
Pomelos in the green bowl.
The cry of a distant ambulance.
Scavengers rummaging the recycling.
The twinkle of glass.
The deck, sodden and gleaming.
Dreams of swimming and giant movie theaters.
Your father, the evening before departure.
The heft and softness of his shoulders.
Your mother, fixing up a salad.
The slow peeling of bandages.
Tea.
The back of the woman you love.
Her fingers threading your hair.
A slim filament of moonlight.
Slippers.
The slide toward sleep.

You could start anywhere.
Start here.
Because you know
nothing
will be the same again.
And you know the body
is just the beginning.

Small acts of redemption are hiding
where you least expect them,
inkling seeds burgeoning in the dark soil,
an unseen greening,
in you and out of you,
even if you couldn’t quite bring yourself
to believe it. Believe it.
All that is alive, alive, alive.
And there is no choice now
but to walk into that life,
that infinitesimal,
unfathomable geography,
and allow yourself
at last
to be healed.

5 comments:

Natalie Mikolajczak said...

"...to be healed."
How wonderful that you are being healed, in more ways than one, I would suspect.

dragonflyreflections said...

So glad you're on the mend Maya. This poem is just beautiful - I love the idea of just starting where I am and trusting in those "inkling seeds."

Looking forward to meeting you at Laurie's retreat next month!

blessings,
Kelley

margie said...

and heal you will.

Kirse said...

HI Maya
I was forwarded this poem of yours by a friend who subscribes to Hashi's blog. I have been hiking all day on the weekends and YES this is it exactly. I love it. I would like to use it in my blog post next and hope I may....
Thank you!
Kirsten
how to climb a mountain
Make no mistake. This will be an exercise in staying vertical.
Yes, there will be a view, later, a wide swath of open sky,
but in the meantime: tree and stone. If you’re lucky, a hawk will
coast overhead, scanning the forest floor. If you’re lucky,
a set of wildflowers will keep you cheerful. Mostly, though,
a steady sweat, your heart fluttering indelicately, a solid ache
perforating your calves. This is called work, what you will come to know,
eventually and simply, as movement, as all the evidence you need to make
your way. Forget where you were. That story is no longer true.
Level your gaze to the trail you’re on, and even the dark won’t stop you.
– by Maya Stein

Kirse said...

HI Maya
I was forwarded this poem of yours by a friend who subscribes to Hashi's blog. I have been hiking all day on the weekends and YES this is it exactly. I love it. I would like to use it in my blog post next and hope I may....
Thank you!
Kirsten
how to climb a mountain
Make no mistake. This will be an exercise in staying vertical.
Yes, there will be a view, later, a wide swath of open sky,
but in the meantime: tree and stone. If you’re lucky, a hawk will
coast overhead, scanning the forest floor. If you’re lucky,
a set of wildflowers will keep you cheerful. Mostly, though,
a steady sweat, your heart fluttering indelicately, a solid ache
perforating your calves. This is called work, what you will come to know,
eventually and simply, as movement, as all the evidence you need to make
your way. Forget where you were. That story is no longer true.
Level your gaze to the trail you’re on, and even the dark won’t stop you.
– by Maya Stein