By Sam Shain
I wear thin, rubber soled summer-sneakers because sometimes, I want to know what roots feel like.
I find myself on farms, growing jealous of the okra & cornstalks, envious of forests for their permeating sense of permanence, of root systems and community, of never being left behind, never falling out of love, or falling apart, or falling;
Not falling like shooting star, but falling like child, like not remembering how to right myself, like forgetting how joints and muscles work, my whole body squeezed into the raindrops that ski down my cheekbone slopes, fallen.
I am still baby, still child, still rock me to sleep; still sing me a lullaby, remind me that you love me still: I’ve fallen too many times.
Sewing myself back together has turned my body into a quilt; crazy, unmatching, awkward with messy uneven stitches and flannel patches where elbows should be, they’ve caught me too many times.
I’ve been weeded out of other people’s gardens, too many times; uprooted, falling;
Falling asleep and falling back awake, disoriented, memory-less
So I find myself strapping on sneakers with barely there soles and I search for roots that might remind me of my own, lost, but not abandoned, like Peter Pan’s shadow.
I can grow like weed, like fertilizer bloodstream, like sunflower grasping sunray- moonbeam elixir, like cloud comforters can save me
Moon as nightlight
Sleeping like baby
So far to fall,
I am 1/3 daffodil, plant me and let me grow up
And out like artichoke leaf armor; there’s a heart in there somewhere.
This is all I know:
1. You can’t recycle a sunset
2. You must have honey in your veins, how you move so sweetly
3. stretching is just your way of touching the sky
4. Hugging you is like canning dew
5. you are my fields, left holy and unfallow, where wildflowers grow
6. I am a wildflower. Help me grow roots here. I’ve fallen too many times. I have thin, rubber-soled sneakers where my heels should be. I’ve fallen too many times.
7. But in the faling, I’ve found you, Sunflower Queen with golden petal crown, spine pushing up, roots down and out, stronger that imagined, but falling nonetheless.
8. I’ve fallen too many times. Catch me, Lord.