#NaPoWriMo – Day 19: “Kindred: A Sequence of Dreams”

kindredPhoto by Me

 

 

Kindred: A Sequence of Dreams // by Jennifer Patino

 

i.

 

there is no end to this tunnel

I’m calling it a tunnel because that’s how I see here

 

when I last saw my grandmother I swore she was smaller than me

she’s a giant here

she towers over me

 

in her hand is a scepter made of bee stings

she tells me she tried to pass it off to my mother but she couldn’t hold it

my mother is allergic to bees

 

my mother is washing dishes in the kitchen in the Florida house

she is 35 years old

my youngest sister rests on her hip,

my other younger sister has surely run away again,

and 15-year-old me watches from the table

 

it’s littered with history homework and I’ll never understand

why people can’t learn from their horrid mistakes

 

I look around for my little brother and I know I’m losing him

I look around the kitchen again and I think that everything,

including the peeling wallpaper, is a horrid mistake

 

****

 

when I wake up I’m nearly 35

 

I start to worry about where the kids are but then I remember

that my mother and I are not the same

she bore and bears what I’m deemed unable to

 

my skin is covered in puncture wounds

queen bee venom courses through my tiny veins

 

 

ii.

 

father hoards all his memories in a tool shed in the backyard

we are not allowed in there and he scares us away from even trying to enter

by horror stories of the vermin that lurk in the tall grass leading to it,

and the creeping and crawling things that will surely fall on our heads

the moment we open the rusted door

 

he hides dreams in there too

 

behind the coffee cans filled with bolts, nuts, screws, nails that are near dust,
mason jars of milk teeth, filthy empty boxes of appliances from the early 80s
with faded pictures on the outside of what they once stored–

 

I only saw them in boxes during moves
and Christmases
so maybe they’re filled with something else no one but he can understand

 

–treasured within all that,
there’s a pile of shed snakeskin
he swears he’ll make a belt out of one day

there are so many mixed CDs he’s made to put in his future recording studio

there are odds and ends, car parts, wooden shutters, things that probably can’t be fixed anymore
but my father believes

he believes he’ll get to it all some day

 

someday someone will have to go through all of that
but no one wants to think about it

 

 

iii.

 

my mother and I have the same dreams sometimes

I wonder if we see each other in the same one but don’t remember

 

I also wonder if too much time has passed between the last time I saw my loved ones

and the next time I will see them so if I wave to them

on whatever celestial plane we end up together on

would they even recognize me?

 

I hear my mother and grandmother in the same voice telling me

that the soul always knows

 

 

iv.

 

my sister just got home from work and I’m laying on her couch

the room looks different

this house looks different

 

this is how I know this dream hasn’t happened yet

 

she’s telling me about a raffle

she says the prizes are lame

 

I’m nodding over paperwork

 

in dreams and in waking life

I am always drowning in paperwork

that I can’t read

 

a curly haired girl who I swear is my youngest sister

played by a famous Hollywood child

whose name I can’t place

toddles into the room

and wants to know what I’m doing

 

I call her by my youngest sister’s name and she responds

 

my other sister rolls her eyes in the background

while she rifles through junk mail

 

I can hear my mother calling offstage

that the macaroni is done

 

my father is ringing the old gold dinner bell

and my brother may or may not be in the emergency room

 

if shared dreams are to be trusted
then we’ll never need phone calls
to tell us what happens and we’ll
never need a book to tell us that
addiction is a kind of infection

 

my mother and my grandmother say in the same voice:

“we already know”

 

 

v.

 

I stand in the middle of a room full of mirrors
grabbing fistfuls of ravens

somewhere a phone is ringing
like an angry hive

this isn’t a nightmare anymore
so I should definitely fear answering it

 

I have been anointed with a crown of honey–
the blood, sweat, and tears of my family

I am the last to hang up
and let go of the line

the last to be told
that I woke up a long time ago

 

napowrimo2018

 

 

10 thoughts on “#NaPoWriMo – Day 19: “Kindred: A Sequence of Dreams”

  1. I really enjoy twisting around in your verses, taking in all the places you paint for me.

    It affects me the same way episodes of Fringe (or similar) did the first time I watched them.

    Not everything is trustworthy, but there is a great truth whispering from inside – filtered through an intellect that wants to show me a more honest way of looking at the world, but hasn’t quite grasped how powerful it is yet…

    Put simply: you rock at this poetry malarkey 😉 X

    Liked by 1 person

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