This is poem #1 of my self-imposed “2 week boot camp”. The aim is to post a poem every day for two weeks!
I had a very close relationship with my maternal grandmother, she taught me how to crotchet and how to put food on the table when surprise visitors drop in. Her lavender scented hugs seemed to fully engulf me with a soft warm harbour.
I often think about her life, growing up in rural Queensland in between World War 1 and World War 2. Raising her nine children during the post-war baby boom. Keeping her faith through tragedies that would shatter other people’s souls. The world I grew up so different to the one she had known – and thinking back – I don’t think she tried to understand it, she just accepted it and got on with what she needed to do that day.
And then I think about her mother, the life she had and the hardships she experienced. These generations of women who lived before me created the initial threads of the tapestry that would become my life. A life that will leave no spare threads.
The landscape is stark
opaque light obscures the details.
I am standing at a point of convergence
random journeys, meeting for the first time.
I feel a call from deep within
Each path is like a tree trunk
each main branch breaks into ever smaller lines
that twist and turn through time and space.
These are the paths down which my genes were carried
picking up the story-lines now held in my DNA.
We are strangers to each other –
faceless previous generations whose lives are a mystery to me
me, the impossible Future Woman:
university educated, working, free, ankles showing.
Ancient choices have rippled consequences down to me
And I am making changes to future times I will never see
From my already forgotten foot hold in time.
Grey opaqueness wraps its arms around me –
I am in the moment between heart beats-
neither past nor future.
I am at that point of convergence knowing
I leave not a single branch.