Ma gave an ocean to all

Daughter swam an ocean,

learned its roads,

followed its weeds,

met its creatures,

made a home of open doors there.

Sister sang a ship into existence

and whistled its horn from coast to coast to coast

Little sister danced herself into an undercurrent

and watched the way things moved around up above.

Auntie wished for wells for people to drink from

and charged a small fee, hidden below

Niece chose to be a ladle

because she liked dipping-in

and sharing what she found.

Grandma swallowed snow when it came down hard

Grand-daughter flooded spaces into ice-rinks,

showing how to skate with the cold.

Cousin-sister built mills to generate electricity from the wind

Her cousin-sister used her own breath to try and warm the wind full of chills


Histories are chains

in which we are links

To rub on them and tug them

toward another twist

Or be wrapped-up by them

in rusting imbroglio.                                                                                            

from breathing for breadth (TSAR: 2005, p.28)

*photo by Salimah Valiani

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