Monday, October 26, 2009

The Summer of Sisters

The form of this poem was based on Sherman Alexie's brilliant piece called "Summer of Black Widows"

The Summer of Sisters

The Sisters appeared suddenly
after that early summer sandstorm.

Some would say the Sisters came within a furious wind,
others would swear they broke from the very rocks,
ground for generations into sand.

Grandmothers knew the Sisters carried
stories deep in their grain;
the grandmothers knew and looked away.

Husbands wore their boots through the fields
of stories fallen, only poppies weeping.
Sons gritted stories in their teeth. Stories swirled
red and forbidden against unforgiving sun.
Little girls tied scarves and stories round their curls.

Taliban men tried to shake the stories clinging
to the ends of their fingers, woven through their lines.
Stories pulled upon their twisted beards.

Stories in caves--
Stories stoned--
Stories in courtyards--
Stories whispered between burkas--
Stories shared through the cloistered tiles.

The Sisters would not leave with the summer and grain would cling to grain.
They had come with stories carried in their bellies to pass around and hold,
to stand in the sand, shifting and shaping the rock of women, of Afghanistan.

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