Mother, where do we go from here?
From your scorched body we wander,
tracing fault lines that could never be ours,
tectonic shifts that move us farther away.
How to find home when home is burning—
Simple, follow the smoke tumbling from our lips
elixir of life dug from soil, deeper than memory.
Mother, we will come back one day,
older and wiser, we will speak more than smoke
and love deeper than soil. Will you take us
in your arms again? Skin and flesh dried to fossil
will always smell like remembering. Mother,
we are sorry. Knocking at your door we kicked down
and used for firewood, your memory more substantial
than any love we learned to hold. We are not better,
still remembering, we follow smoke in circles.
This poem was selected as an honorable mention in our 2023 Seasick Competition. Go here to see the other winners: https://thetiderises.org/seasick
This poem also contains special formatting. Go here to see it: https://pin.it/3LDCNie
Dina Klarisse is a writer, editor, and recovering Catholic. She writes to investigate the intersections of language, history, culture, and identity. Her work has been published in ASU’s Canyon Voices, The Daily Drunk Mag, Chopsticks Alley, and Kalopsia Literary Journal, among others. She is the author of the poetry chapbook, HANDSPUN ROSARIES.