Four Seasons Woman

“Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.” General George S. Patton

Hair soft and black as obsidian,
Scent of sage.
Eyes glow like stars in the night sky,
Toothless or toothful smile –
a moon beam.

Scrunched in a ball, hands over face,
recovering from drug addiction,
trying to overcome homelessness,
“Come back tomorrow, okay?”
You are as gentle as morning star unfurling,
those hot, hot, hot days last summer at Zaiko hospital.

Then, when birch, poplar, and willow’s
Rusty copper leaves
Dance and dangle on near bare branches,
pillow yellow grass or black velvet earth,
You are at Kairos House –
home for persons with AIDS.
I bring you pumpkin pie,
but you aren’t home to receive it.

Christmas dinner at Kairos House
with friends, brother, staff, and volunteers,
Smiling, you hug me, give me a poem,
“I wish I had been raised by a pack of wolves,”
and leave with your brother for a sweat.

But those ghosts still follow
And late winter with white snow padding asphalt,
Bare feet wander in bitter north winds.
And some strangers think you are a homeless, drunken Indian
Until a police officer finds you and brings you home.

Red tulips softly touch white tulips.
Hyacinths look like fat purple toads.
In my cupboard, a few cans of tomatoes and some herbs;
in my fridge, a root or two
transform into onoliscious soup,
warming my children’s hearts and bellies.

Back in the hospital on June 13th, your fortieth birthday.
After reading a loving letter from your son, Iron Eagle,
you shake uncontrollably, eyes stop moving,
breath barely a whisper, “It’s meant to be.”

Five days pass.
A full moon in June,
millions of stars greet you.
Dandelions dance in trees
and lilacs sway in the mist.

~ Lisa Tara Eden

Lisa Tara Eden is a mother of two children, writer, and community support worker living in Edmonton, Alberta.

One Response to “Four Seasons Woman”

  1. there is so much beauty
    and love here
    to dances through seasons
    of one life
    that in small moments

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