“Those Hips Come”
Remember back to when you were a little girl sitting at your grandma’s kitchen table after a large family meal. You look over at the counter and see the familiar large round hips of those women you love washing and scrubbing and drying and putting dishes away. They move around each other with decades of cadence, never bumping, or resting, or spilling any grease. One pair of hips walks in with a basket of uneaten dinner rolls and grandma is ready with a paper plate and plastic wrap, the ESP is that thick. You watch and don’t think a thing. They’ve always done this. This is always how its been. Granddad and the other men are in the den reclining in chairs with their mouths open wide up to the sky snoring already. What is it that they do anyways, besides eat? Now that you think about it, you don’t think that grandma’s sat down since she was picking green beans at the table this morning, preparing for dinner. But look at those hips. They’re strong. They’ve held her up all day. They’ve held us all up all day. When Tim fell down outside on dad and granddad’s watch that afternoon, they both looked up at the house waiting for one of those pairs of hips to come running out to tell them what to do, to make the boy stop crying. And they came. Those hips always seemed to come. Right when you needed them. When mom and dad kept yelling and throwing last week, you snuck in the kitchen and called your grandparent’s house for someone to come get you. Sure enough, those hips came. You slept next to her and her hips and she scratched your back until you were breathing slow and long and was dreaming. You’ve seen hips help the living work their way to the dead. Next to catheter bags and morphine drips, feeding ice chips to the dying, smoothing lip balm on their cracked lips, brushing back their matted grey hair, and praying that death would come soon. This world sits and spins on those hips. The living and the dead pass through them. They help and hold each other up. And you remember them, you sway with them, you stand up next to them and wash dishes with them, diaper butts with them, love men with them, and keep this world going, going with them. Because those hips always come.
I have a deep love for poetry. I love to both read it and to write it and think that it’s something that powerfully changes and expresses our lived and imagined experiences. And it’s fun! I am not a professed poet by any means, but I do dabble in it and let it do a work inside of me that no other form of writing or creativity can. So, in honor of National Poetry Month I will be sharing poems that I have written and poems that I love to read.
Above is a poem that I wrote a few weeks ago and that I love deeply. I’m sharing it again with you and invite any of your responses and reactions in the comments or in your own blogs.