A set of rukus

I understand when my mother says:

“They’re all nothing but rituals,

To bend,

To bow,

To prostrate.”

As I recall her words:

“Do not cower”

I look at her brown eyes,

How much older she is now,

And wait. 

Our mothers mouths are the desert storm,

And as children, we have been allowed to burrow in the sand 

For our own protection 

Yet my mother my mother my mother my mother

My father my father my father my father my father

I must fall,

Here I will weep as a willow

Stand a young tree

Still bending at my own winds I must face

Let me bend at the waist

Go on to my knees

And search for my heart

When I find it there

Let me pour it on to the floor,

Where it runs 

Forming into a puddle,

And then an entire ocean of my worries

There are days when I don’t 

And it plagues my mind later

Let me for once

Reimagine my ribs as a washboard

Where the feeling of being okay 

Rolls down each dip

Groove.

I understand worry,

But in the end we stand again 

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