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Clover Poetry Series: The Beautiful Breaking

Clover Poetry Series: The Beautiful Breaking

This is a poem about getting to know my grandmother rather late in her life. I asked her some questions about herself when she was younger for a school project, but as we talked, it was like I was seeing this thread of history and recurrences throughout my family's history.

People are not made of nothing
We do not spring into creation
Singing, dancing, and loving
We are assembled from a jigsaw of history and emotion and
Love

I know that now
I know that we never truly die – not in the ways that matter
I know that part of me is my mother is my grandmother is some long distant queen who has become soil an ocean away
And she is not dead
Just frac
   tured

Recently, I sat with my grandmother
We took all her pieces apart
And wondered at their history
She is not afraid of death, she says on fragments

Death is not a cold stiff cadaver
That looks like the spitting image of someone you once knew
It is the gentle breaking
It is seeing an old woman’s laugh in a three-month old
It is glimpsing a passed-down gift for cooking in the way my sister makes a sandwich
It is looking into the mirror and knowing, 
Parts of me have walked this road before, so there is no reason to fear the journey

I am not made of nothing
I am a patchwork of ancestors and memories and gifts
I am a collection of who was and who is
I am old, practically a walking fossil

I am going to fall to pieces
And it will be glorious

By Ada Eke, 15
 

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