Well, it's Sunday: church, a drive, dinner with the family. This wonderful piece captures the feeling of living out your Sundays in the midwest and then sorting everything out from a spot on the mighty mesas of New Mexico.
Albuquerque poet Erin Northern is the co-organizer and host of OUTSpoken, Albuquerque’s quarterly Queer Poetry Slam and Open-Mic. She is a current member of the 2011 Albuquerque Slam Poetry Team, was a featured poet at the 2011 Atlanta Queer Literary Festival, and was Albuquerque’s representative at the 2009 Women of the World Poetry Slam Championship in Detroit.
I live on a mesa where the
the night wears a broad rimmed hat,
and there is always a story in the rain.
she always quilted the best stories,
stitching drops of memories together
long after I had stopped listening.
But even when you don’t listen
the rain still
The night still turns,
tips its hat,
and pulls the heavy sky
over its shoulder.
On the mesa
but it is never
for the lightening or
of my youth were.
long drives through midwestern country,
my stomach churning
as the station wagon
peaked hill after rolling hill.
late afternoon lunches
fried chicken and greens
between the sermons
where the minister would foam
and spit from a red fiery swollen face.
of assertiveness and
angst in a soft butch
wearing a flower print dress,
and patent leather shoes.
Sunday was not a day for asking questions.
They just didn’t seem to fit.
Between the stiffness of stockings and pews
the only thing breathing,
between bible and hymnal
was the thick humidity.
Now, on the mesa
I no longer throw questions at God
like a football.
I speak my truth and
listen to the wrinkles
in my grandmother’s hands
as she taught me to roll out my faith
with a rolling pin,
a table full of rainwater stories,
where others may kneel through the storm
is never a day for asking.
Poetry submissions are welcome. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.