About Kathleen Ripley Leo
Kathleen Ripley Leo

The Circle is AssembledThe Old Ways

Town One South


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Nawrot-Aron Poems
I. For Tracey and her babies

Once you had a sweet expectant hollow deep
in the beauty of your body,
a hollowness you did not know you had.
Now two jumping babies shake your heart,
two cartwheeling babies thump your ribs.
Sensations as bright and gentle
as the quivering white trumpets
pulsing on the long stems of hostas
hoarded together in parental groups in your mother's front yard.
They are incomprehensible, until they are there.

Soon, four hands will poke your eyes,
grab your nose, tangle your hair--
two famished babies will suckle your milk, and two
sweet mouths will kiss you, one on each side of your face.
They'll wrap you in their heady, lightning-quick love,
so that the deep hollow, filled and satisfied,
will seem to have never been there at all.

II. For Busha Donna and Grand Busha Stevie

She is a slice of your heart,
body of your body of your body.
It calls to mind the inexorable progress of love
through the years. It comes down to these minutes,
and you respond with quickenings of your flesh.
You are the keepers of the history of her body
and you feel the pulses once again,
willing conspirators of her sweet birthing.

III. For Aunt Becky

Deep in the beauty of your body
they will call you sister mother,
sister aunt. They will be
luminous in your embrace.
Your blood affirms them in the freshness of
family blood, catching them
in the bright light of their new world.
You, aunt, are the reservoir of possibility
and shared history, the nodding hostas pulse
for you, too, in the gracious bounty of your heart.

IV. Grampa Jim

You who sweep the stones around the cottage,
who labor to make all things possible,
feel your granddaughter and grandson
slicing your heart, too, down to the bright knowledge
of the marrow of your bones.
How sweet to have on your lap your happy daughter
and the babies of your baby,
the full contour of the world round like her abdomen
and putting forth the bones and blood and flesh of legacy,
arrows shot into the sky, the pearls of spittle as they teethe
like secret lovers of your body
pooling in your heart.

Kathleen Ripley Leo
(c) 2001 Leo

Other featured poems by Kathleen Ripley Leo

Pole Barn
Nawrot-Aron Poems
Where Truth Lies

Foot Massage
Flower Picture
Up, Over the Steep Hill
The Familiar
The Kiss