Tuesday, December 28, 2010


my grandmother's name was muna
they called her mna,
she had eyes greener 
than the mint she pressed
into her husbands tea,
hands small as a child's,
stronger than a soldier's
five foot, maybe
if she stretched

she was
a woman

married a boy she knew her entire life,
a pilot's wife, ear constantly tuned towards the radio
for signs of accidents in the sky
slept with her head on his shoulder every night

she was
a wife

life spent in a constant cycle of
kneading, nourishing, and loving

birthed nine children,
two who's faces the next moon
never saw,
countless others
lost in utero,

she loved them all,

she was a mother

never learned to read,
but taught her daughters
a woman must learn to do everything

told time by the way the light
hit the wall

worked with her elbows, knees,
and neck
broke her back
to erect the spine
of a home
she never slept in

taught her daughters
to love with their entire body
but her sons
she loved from a place
low in her stomach,
that roared up and welled over,
that stretched across oceans,
riding on tides
hard and deep,

some nights they still say her name
in their sleep

she was amazing

i never knew her

i only have the stories

about her eyes,
how they were 

greener than the na'anah
she put in her tea,
greener than the sea 
in winter
greener than the grass
in the month before summer,
when the sun comes to make everything dry

i only have the stories

about how her hair 
was two black braids that hung to her waist,
and the way she sat when she ate.

i never knew her

so i wrote a poem
so i could feel 
like i know her

my grandmother's name was muna
and they called her mna