Thank You Mother
by Kanya D’Almeida
Thank you mother for this paradise
For bleeding sunsets and swollen organ-clouds
Reminding us that our own bodies, turned inside out, full of tree roots
And skin plains and red lakes
Came from something mighty, and will one day become worm food.
Thank you for beaches on hot mornings and the slumbering bay,
Whose calm blues say, “come in, you are mine and I am yours and ours.”
On days when we’ve made ourselves so big
That we can’t even see over our own shoulders
The shrapnel of our word bombs, wedged in our loved ones’ bodies
Thank you for white pinpoints on black velvet,
Reminding us that we are infinitesimal.
Thank you for fallen telephone poles and lightening struck billboards.
For reminding us that he who promises eternity
And that concrete, forged from your core and crust
Building sandcastles and steel fortresses
Will surely fold back into your womb.
Thank you for fireflies
Lanterns of doubt and hope
In an overgrown garden.
For cornfields under gathering storm clouds
For bird calls that enter office windows
Dropping questions – why? For whom?
On work papers.
For rains’ fists pounding on our windows
Reminding us that life is full of unwelcome visitors,
If we’ve decided they’re unwelcome
But full of pleasant surprises,
If we see ourselves as you do, worm food.
For thunder rolling through the front door, despite all our best efforts to keep him out,
Reminding us that “security” is a myth
That you see through brick and cement
And we are always exposed
So why not live as though we have nothing to hide?
Thank you for bodies in the earth, breaking slowly down into worm food
Thank you for your droughts,
That leave hydro dams dry
For the power cuts
That forces us to light candles and make music.
And perhaps hear each other
And the woman next door
And the women far away.
Thank you for gas shortages
For cars parked by petrol pumps, reminding us of our own legs.
For bodies that are more than containers of deep-fried misery
More than racks for Black Friday purchases and holiday sales
And our eyes burn when they land on sit-com specials
And our ears bleed when they receive ringtones
And our mouths scream in protest
When we pour poison behind the backs of those with whom we have just broken bread
Or shared a table.
And our feet fight against shoes
And our hands will one day refuse to punch pin numbers
Because they know they can also dig and sew and build.
And our faces know that all the glosses and powders
Slathered over our beauty
Will seep into the earth and poison the worms’ food.
Thank you for animal stampedes and great migrations.
Earthquakes and tsunamis.
May them swallow us up and wipe us out.
Thank you for superweeds, bred from GMOs
And corporate greed
Thank you for resistant germs
That survived our chemical holocaust
Let them take over.
But before they do:
For honey bees, whose hives are tumours of cellphone vibrations
For polar bears, drowning in the seas of our magazine desires
For tigresses stoned by starving farmers while we carve the turkey
For plankton, withering in the death soup of oceans under glass bottom boats
And honeymoon suites
For this great country, erected on the mass graves of buffalos
For seals clubbed into coats
Elephants chained to Buddhism
And horses plowing the fields of famine.