Spoken Word Poetry

Ever since a thoughtful friend shared Sarah Kay’s TED talk with me years ago, I have been enamored of her work. She recently shared a poem from her new book, and I wanted to share it with you, my dear blog readers. xoxoxo

Apron Strings

I lay resting next to you–
Your heavy eyelids drifting
in and out of dreams
Your fingers wrapped around my
apron strings.
I gently unweave myself from you
tiny bone of my bone
flesh of my flesh
And move the strings out of your grasp
–but I like the way they look
Enclosed in little hands
new skin
fresh from Heaven
I want you to hang onto me forever

How will I know when to let you go?

-Karin Salisbury


photo credit

Control

Up in my figurative tower
Growing out my hair
Confined, cornered,
Her tight hold on my soul
Mirrored only by the way she held the brush
And band
For another twist
Or braid
Manipulate my spirit, my voice
In, out, down, through, under, twist, braid, tight, tighter, tighter….

Architecture

Who hired me
as architect for your early life?
My experiences with Legos are hardly
Sufficient credentials, I think….

Still, I labor
Planning the experiences that will build
You.
Modifying blueprints as my
on-the-job training requires
Will you love soccer, ballet,
the trombone?
More importantly, will you love
Yourself?
Your fellow beings?
Your God?

With experiences as cinderblocks and
Love as mortar
We work together building the edifice of

You.

–Karin Salisbury

photo credit

Young Again

When I die, will you paint me
Young again…?

Eyes set forward, without tears for Ethan’s cancer at age six (he was here oh-so-briefly)
Brow long and high, not with wrinkles borne of worry for
Kaitlin’s solo, Jonathan’s baseball championship, and later
Kaitlin’s failing marriage, Jonathan’s lost job, and even later
Burying Jim after thirty-six years of happily and not-so-happily
Married life?

Will you paint me innocent? Free from fear?

Yet I look in the mirror at my
aged face,
tired eyes,
wrinkled hands…
Hands once delicately fingering a piano, rolling a cookie, painting a homecoming poster
And I wonder
If each mark of age represents an
unspoken experience,
valuable wisdom,
immeasurable compassion,
Would I trade it all back for a young face, thick hair, and soft hands?

-Karin Salisbury


photo credit

Music Within

The notes don’t come as easily as they once did
And yet, in some ways, they are easier

Maybe her fingers are more nimble from the hours of
Hand-holding
Bread-kneading
Math-problem-solving…?

Hours at her disposal are no longer available
For practice
And yet,
When she sits to play, as she once did
Several lifetimes ago
She feels the same.

–Karin Salisbury


photo credit