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