Poetry by Jael
My Life
by jael bietsch

We pass fields gold and red
and the cornstalks are the color of her hair.
Beside me, her face has taken on the softness of dreams
and she is unaware. I have dressed her in careful clothes,
braided ribbons into her golden-red hair,
my childhood I have wrapped around her
and in dreams' death I have tightly bound her.

Her freckles are those displaced sands
from some beach-side castle I'd made.
And though she missed the shores and badlands,
she roots for lake-washed shells
and pebbles the gentle waves have laid.
Her voice rises with the cries of the gulls.
She must know the beach through her hands.

She doesn't realize
her hair is the shade of fields
and far-away trees
in October when the land is the most
before it dies
and I will be older and she'll still be four.
Me, that much farther from sea-blown skies.

For her the corn will ever be corn, and leaves
that have grown too much
for the trees and scrape
the ground--just leaves.
In this state I once scorned
she is now tightly bound
and her heart will not pound
with the surf or the wind
that in empty spaces flies.

But when she wakes in her life
and in places that she knows,
it will all be enough until she turns
to me with those eyes
with their memory of my life
and little-girl expectations
and disappointments and lies.

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    ©1995 Jael Bietsch

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    March 8, 2000