Friday, May 21, 2010

Small Signs

The spot
at the base of my thumbs
just above the wrists
the size of about a quarter
the spot
where the sharp edges
of the plastic
zip-tie handcuffs
cut into my skin
into my radial nerves

leaving welts for days
leaving numbness for months
leaving pain for going on now
over two and a half years
since the day


I still hurt.

I carry that pain with me
every day
a basket of bread
a constant reminder
and I wonder if I will ever
be done with it.
The needles find relief
and also
seemingly endless depths
of soreness,
pain. The needles wonder
if I will ever
be done with them.

I don't know.
I wonder if being done
is the wrong question.

I know this, though.
I am mindful to anniversaries.
I know what happened
in the less than merry month of May
two years ago. It has been
in my consciousness.
I even thought about it
this morning, driving
to see the immigrant workers,
remembering my people
sitting with me on the bench,
how I wouldn't let them leave,
how they wouldn't leave,
how they cradled me,
how they blessed me
every time I sneezed.
(I was so so sick.)
A chorus of blessings
behind me around me.
It is May,
and I remember.

But not until this morning
sitting with BlueEyes
and sweet cups of Tension Tamer
having a conversation with her
about "one year ago today..."
what she was doing to get ready to graduate,
which prompted me to think
of two years ago,
what I was doing to get ready to graduate,
And only then did I realize, remember
that today is actually the day
today is the day I testified,
and the day I was found guilty
of stepping out of place.
Today is that day.

And I had forgotten.
not forgotten, exactly,
I didn't forget.
I just didn't think
to count the days.
Last year I did.
This year...something else.
And realizing this
made us smile.

That I didn't need to remember
didn't even realize to remember
down to the minute, the day
must mean
I hope it means
something is healing.

I am mindful,
but perhaps not as captive.
Even though my body still hurts,
my arms and shoulders and heart
still remember,
but not everything is the same.

Thanks be to God.


  1. Sitting here trying to think of something even remotely adequate to say and failing. These words are beautiful.


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