Poetry Month – April 17

Whenever the word opposites shows up, I think of my mother’s hands on my forehead when I was sick. They were miraculous. It’s like the coolness of them pulled the hot sick fever feeling out of me. Or reminded my body where I needed to go. Or something. Anyway, that’s where I started.


           I didn’t get sick a lot but when I did, I loved
My mother’s cool hands on my hot forehead
The suffocating smell of VicksVapoRub made me breathe easier
The sweet sugary fizz with the hot tang of ginger ale
Saltines that turned to plain mush in my mouth
Clean dry sheets after a steamy bath
What is it about these opposites that wake us up?
A roaring fire after winter walk on the beach
Steaming tea on frozen nose and cheeks
Warm thick soup on a dank day
First plunge into sweat singeing springs
That make us more alive
The thump of a bass with the twist of a guitar riff
The low notes of a sax accompanied by a voice pirouetting on top
A giddy heartbeat inside the slow swing of a waltz
I can close my eyes and walk from Fenway Beach to home
As fast as my fingers can tap-tap-tap
Umami of sand
Salt of sea
Crash and whisper of waves
Sour crabapples
Sweet honeysuckle
Low buzz of bees
Salt on lips
Yes, alive.