When You Pick Up The World & Hand It To Your Daughter

by Sheree La Puma 

Brush back tangles from her eyes. Allow her to sing,             unmuffled.
Say nothing as she      wanders. How unpredictable &           new
it is to follow the night sky. Let your heart      bleed                silently
like a tongue that has lost its battle with the                             knife.
Do not panic as you watch her body                                             lessen
its hold on childhood. Belonging cannot be                              traced
by the lengthening of   scars carved into skin, or the             winter
sun moving towards spring. Parched, not wild let                  her
have a year or              more    to make a                                         reappearance.
Gather stones like        breadcrumbs    to line the                     path
home. Picture her rising like a sapling on the shore of a      receding
lake, long-white arms reaching up/out of the morning         fog.

Sheree La Puma is an award-winning writer whose personal essays, fiction, and poetry have appeared in or are forthcoming in The Penn Review, American Journal of Poetry, WSQ, Chiron Review, SRPR, The Rumpus, Plainsongs, and I-70 Review, among others. Her poetry was recently nominated for Best of The Net and two Pushcarts. Her micro-chapbook, The Politics of Love, was published in August by Ghost City Press. She has a new chapbook, Broken: Do Not Use, recently released with Main Street Rag Publishing. She received an MFA in Writing from the California Institute of the Arts and taught poetry to former gang members. www.shereelapuma.com