this is how i fight.

i light two candles,

place them on the windowsill
in my kitchen, next to the begonia blooming orange

it doesn’t know there is chaos
out there, somewhere.

everywhere. all day,

but especially the night

when day has drawn
her blackout blind and i am suddenly
without crumbs in the forest,

they burn,

reflecting all my faces
back at me.

flickering smallness
enough,

to lead me back
from all the dark places
my head wants to go.

listening to the news,

i drink my morning tea
from a delicate, china cup

my best teapot and cake,

defiant
on a tray.

this is how i fight, my hands

full of beauty,

i stand.

still.
tall.

my eyes held by the light.

— this is how i fight.

© Liezel Graham 2020.

Image by Charleigh Clarke.

silent letters

early monday morning

there is chaos
to tame,

a kitchen to clean, and
spelling to teach.

some words are deceptive,

some letters can be seen, but

be careful, listen

they are never heard, they

do not own
their own
sound, may as well

not be there, i have found

there is a
b
in numb
that refuses to be known,

even though it is there
for everyone to see.

a lamb on a limb
on her way to the tomb,

i pull on a pair of jeans,
a sweater

comfort
familiar to my skin, and
practical.

did i mention

that there is work to be done?

from deep within
the third drawer,

i pull a scarf

tie it
around
my neck, it is soft

does not feel like hands.

i will not take it off, i

leave it on my skin.

all day i search

for lost things.

i am covered in dust,
baptised in silk.

— silent letters.

© Liezel Graham 2020.

Image by Maadhuri G.

have you ever?

have you ever eaten
sweet potato

baked in its own skin, taken straight from the oven
still warm.

rough on your mouth
at first,

but then,

sweet

soft flesh,
opening orange
on your starved tongue

no fork
no knife
or plate,

not dressed up as anything
it is not.

hands taking what they want,

this gift.

— have you ever?

© Liezel Graham 2020.

Image by Ela Haney.
{Unsplash}.

there is beauty all around us.

this morning, i baked a tray of lovely sweet potatoes.

a poem found me in the soft, orange flesh.

learning to let go | trust.

every new morning,
i set all of my tomorrows free.

— learning to let go | trust

© Liezel Graham 2020.

Background image by Filip Zrnzević.

for some of us, learning to let go of security and the need to control things beyond our control—deciding every fresh morning to let go of what we think our tomorrows should look like, learning to live in the moment, can be the bravest thing we ever do.

also the scariest.

you are not alone.

i see you.

x

Adhaan.

my eyes find hers.

i say,

one more push!

you’re almost there.

as women have done
for years

since time began, and

suddenly!

a rush of life.

my hands hold

hope,

slick with blood.

i wipe nose and mouth,
look for tiny breaths,
a whisper on my hands.

she cries.

i smile, but
still

no words fall from my tongue.

not yet.

eyes wide with wonder,

he looks at me,
i nod.

and

there
beside the bed,
a new-born father

finds,

perfectly folded,

his daughter’s tiny ear.

bends down
holy,

softly whispers
ancient words filled with God.

— adhaan.

© Liezel Graham 2020.

Photograph by Charles Deluvio.

I shared this poem in my writing group this morning and I thought I would share it with all of you over here, too.

The Adhaan (Adhan) is the Muslim call to prayer which a father whispers into the right ear of his newborn baby as soon as possible after birth.

I once delivered a lovely Muslim couple’s first baby and this was an incredibly beautiful rite to witness.

liezel