Perm

You stretched like a leaf

that couldn’t tear

Carried a home, a neighborhood, a continent strapped all in chickenwire on your back Purple-headed death got your mother,

even your granddaughters before they’d sprung like constellations

But miraculous shamwow, you kept absorbing

You lifted me and yours

like a grim-faced whirlybird rising out of Katrina waters, speaking in and out of tongues

Surely you were Superman, Christ Almighty and Odin Allfather, female though you were

Why did you let them talk to you like hahaknowyourplace

then make their meals and tell me to act more like a boy?

You taught me to bend, give, and accept my blame and thanks for you

Lips locked by hidden sutures

where we should have both cut the strings

Now you must go, slip loose from their burdens and while away in an ecstatic

blossomcrackleshhh

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