THE LAST WISH
Look /the tears of a grandmother
slithering down the webs of age —
carved deep in her face, like inscriptions on stone —
They climb down her once Corinthian skin.
to hang on crescent lips, like a child’s legs, dangling
on a chair too tall.
Her hands ascend like the sunrise.
she is a sun flower, petals opening
at the touch of light.
the light of her daughter
melting into the stretched arms–
like the sun falling into the ocean,
in a hug she had forever missed.
her ribs turn to drums, and her heart, the drummer.
the blades of the wind cut her sorrow,
halving each half till it becomes vapor.
and the tears fall to her foot,
her voice, soft
as summer rain, whispers to God.
I saw the scars etched in your soul
the map of sorrow, pointing home.
Incised in that ebony skin.
Your cotton hands were all callused
and velvet skin, a bark of rue.
each night, I heard the wails you sang
first filled with fright, and then disgust,
spasmodic moans, and creaking bed
your black hands tugged upon those sheets
each vessel drained of all things red
your eyes were lamentation songs.
I know hell felt too cold a place
to burn his soul and scorch his throat
each time he pushed you back and forth.
So you closed the veils of your eyes
and said a prayer no one knew
God must have heard and took you home.
Just tell Him that I’m waiting too
your little sis, from the bed you lay.
Poems © Solomon David Hena
Photo by Amaury Gutierrez on Unsplash (modified)