Sunday, August 26, 2012


Photo by S. Auberle

Memory Keeper
I trace the outline of Nina's hand,
as I've done with all of my tribe.
Giggling and wiggling, they allow me
this strange game.  Sometimes,
the hands I draw are newborn,
like tender young leaves reaching toward light. 
Nina does not wiggle her plump, brown hand,
rather, looks at me solemnly,
as if considering this odd business.
She comes from a different land,
and I will never know
how her mother's years were measured,
how her grandmother tended babies.
There may be things Nina will recall one day,
if only in dreams--tall, African skies;
a lullaby sung to her in those two days
held close in her mother's arms;
the scent of red mud in Addis Ababa streets.
We do not know what the heart may hold.
Will Nina's memories include my touch,
drawing,on  a summer afternoon,
the whorls of her fingertips, the dimpled hands?
Paper crumbles, ink fades, people forget.
What we know--love remembers.
~  mimi

First published in a slightly different version as the title poem of the Emerson Poetry Series Anthology--"Memory Keepers", a publication of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Door County, Wisconsin.


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