With love


Para Mi Madre

I waltzed with the earth—

every arabesque a golden gasp of breath.

You know the entire thesaurus of

all my battles.  

And as I held on to my hurt,

you held my bloodied knee and told me,

“to heal a wound, you need to stop touching it.”

The rived warrior in me

is loose pamphlets in the wind. 

always have

tulips softening in the sunlight,

in your bedroom window.

you were born to chase the sun,

not the things that make you weary.

you fold your courage into

pastry shells, and torch them

in the oven along with your

old lipsticks. You chop

dried persimmon, spiced apple,

and pictures of your lifeguarding days.

Our treeless home front

would be a lesser place

without you in it.

Elizabeth Hsieh