Whenever I hurt myself
My mother says it is the universe’s way of telling me to slow down.
She also tells me to put some coconut oil on it.
It doesn’t matter what ‘it’ is.
She often hides stones underneath my pillow when I come home for the weekend.
The stones are a formula for sweet dreams and clarity.
I dig them out from the sheets,
She tells me what each one is for.
My throat hurts.
So she grinds black pepper into a spoonful of honey, makes me eat the entire thing.
My mother knows how to tie knots like a ship captain
But doesn’t know how I got that sailors mouth.
She falls asleep in front of the TV
Only until I turn it off.
Shouts, “I was watching that!”
The sourdough she bakes on Friday’s is older than I am.
She sneaks it back and forth across the country when she flies
By putting the starter in small containers next to a bag of carrots.
“They think it’s ranch dressing.” she giggles.
She makes tea by hand.
Nettles, slippery elm, tumeric, cinnamon.
My mother is a recipe for warm throats and belly laughs.
Once she fell off of a ladder when I was three.
She says all she worried about was my face as I watched her fall.
Listen to Sarah Kay’s poem “Getting Older” and a conversation about craft with Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz as featured on the podcast “Live from the Amy Clampitt House” for the Indiefeed Poetry Podcast here.