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poem in progress

December 23, 2007

Ten days before her stroke
my grandma, yoga limber,
rested her torso flat, raised
her legs in slow scissors, rising
upside down. I applauded.
She grinned.

I showed for her my first
taekwondo form: front stance
low block, step and punch.
She watched me:
taut face, jerky motions,
scared of my own flesh, learning
to walk again, awkward
and gleeful. She clapped.
We joyed in moving.

Something in her soul’s
been stolen, with that stroke.
This woman who held her upside
down frame with grace can
barely lift a fork. Her body’s
hurt, her spirit too.
We both see this.

She clapped with mercy
and joy at my stiff
taekwondo form. When she
lifts a fork
I want to cheer
and also weep.

Comments: I have never written a first draft of a poem on the computer before. It’s weird. I have less control over the meter. The poem needs to be tightened so it’s more clear what’s going on–that I visited Grandma at first, and she did yoga for me while I did my tae kwon do form for her, and then I’m visiting her later on. Also the meter needs tightening and the language does too. I actually think I will have to handwrite it out to fix it. But it’s a good beginning.

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