First published: Mobius, Spring/Summer 2004
A Poem Written Five Years in Advance by Jalina Mhyana
Daughters, soon you will turn from me,
long-spined and fruited.
But I have you until then, in the middle time,
when everything must fall apart—
fault lines and the blood that comes between them.
One day I will find you both cocooned,
outgrowing the skins I first wrapped you in.
You don’t know it now, when you write:
No one is better than you,
I’m so happy you’re tucking me in.
But soon you will fly from me
into the many arms that will be waiting
to catch you in case your new wings
are still wet, and hoping that they are.
Believe me, your bodies will dissolve like dreams
into pillows - then rise again,
reassembled, poetry of the changes
you’ve lived through.
Daughters, I will talk to you as I talked
to my grandmother, in a coma,
saying goodbye, goodbye
because I knew she had one ear in this world
still listening for me.