Archive for June 2012

Ruth Jackson’s birthday should be a national holiday   4 comments

(2012) June 12th, today would have been my mother’s 83rd birthday. She died four years ago. I want her here with me. I wish her Happy Birthday on my drive to work. I smile at the mountains she would love to see each day as I do and would have painted them once.
I take a walk through Santa Fe neighborhoods on my lunch break. It seems that since my yoga class the night before with a nurturing teacher who encourages and soothes, I’m still feeling aware and relaxed. Shortly into my walk I meet a young man holding the hand of a child that I guess is two-years old. She’s chattering about the dog behind a fence and pointing. When she nears me she says, “Good Morning” in a sweet grown-up way. I look back at her and the sunlight shines her hair like a new penny. I have the strongest sense of my mother who loved red hair and told me that before she became pregnant with my red-haired brother Dan, she had watched a woman walk to communion during mass one Sunday and the light through the window crossed the woman’s red hair and lit it making it glisten in reds and golds. Mom said, “It looked so pretty. I said to myself that I would love to have a baby with hair that color.”
My mother adored babies. They held a magic for her that remained her entire life. I continue on my walk and come to a park where some children in karate clothes are getting a pep talk from a coach. Further along an old woman sits on a park bench appearing to enjoy the sunshine. She holds a wooden rosary.
“Good morning, It’s a nice day to sit in the sun.”
The woman smiles and turns as I walk behind the bench. She holds her hand out and I squeeze it gently. She points to her mouth and shakes her head, which I take to mean that she does not speak English. I smile again and wave and she does the same. And again, I feel my mother’s presence and I began to cry. Lucky, I am so lucky to have had the kindest mother a child could know. And know that always she was supportive and proud of me. Lucky is a funny sounding word. I am sad, happy, and grateful to feel her presence.


Posted June 16, 2012 by strongjacksonpoet54 in Uncategorized

Just Things   Leave a comment

just sunlight’s old story ringing true once more
coming through a sheer curtain
that floats against and then not
and then against again on the marred
wood of the sill
just another hummingbird at the feeder
just a tiny heart in its chest
the way she tips her head
grasps the bar with barely-there feet
drinks sugar and water mixed just for her
just sugar and water
there’s a worn-out-word
for simple stunning things
the space between a lover’s front teeth
a ten-year-old’s handshake
the way my mother apologized for her cooking
but never stopped feeding us
Beauty is the word
for things
that just keep showing up
dressing this everyday ball

Mary Strong Jackson

Posted June 16, 2012 by strongjacksonpoet54 in Uncategorized

I keep Thinking Something Can Be Done   2 comments

a genius or two reaching puberty or beyond
will shake the world straight like a wrinkled sheet
lay it flat where problems show like dirty spots
she’ll reach over the tops of corporations
those “people” with stony hearts
shake them near the rest of us
refilling ourselves weekly
at the cost-of-living-pump
in pursuit of the happiness highway

I keep thinking that something can be done
before polar bears are dusty museum relics
and hummingbirds search for any dried
resemblance of a flower
and the puzzle of homeless children
and empty houses will be fit together

this has happened before
a woman in the dark ages working too hard
skin raw from scrubbing with lye soap
thinking that something can be done
before her short life ends
with promises of heaven

a man smelling the concentration
of death near his home
thinking that something can be done
to end the killings

a child on the coast of Africa running from the ship
another running naked on a road in Vietnam
not caring to become a famous photograph
a child in Cambodia, Afghanistan, Iraq
the never-ending list of all
thinking that something can be done

Mary Strong Jackson

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