July 23, 2018

Grandma's Got Tattoos

"Grandma, today I got bullied and teased.
I felt confused, ashamed to my knees.
With this huge birthmark on my face,
How will I ever fit in, ever feel at place?"

"Come sit on my lap, I have a story to share,
About my facial tattoos, piercings, and gray hair.
These are the stories of my life all they have to tell
Every wrinkle, stretch mark and scar,
They illuminate.the manuscript my body has known well

There once was an island, a peculiar place,
Where everyone was born with their story on their face!
So imagine the confusion, all the consternation,
When I was born without a mark on my presentation...

Growing up, no one took me serious,
Where were my markings? Was I delirious?
So I set off one day when I had nothing to do,
And that's how I got my very first tattoo…

I didn't have a plan, I didn't do the math,
Simply feeling lost, I set off on my path.
I set three intentions at the wishing well,
To feel young, well connected and simply quite swell.

I moved along, but there blocking my way,
A huge tree, fallen in the thunder rain!
I took a moment to consider, simply to ponder,
How would I get over this and continue my wander?

I knew it was big, more than I could handle
But I gritted my teeth, and over that log, I scrambled.
I scraped myself as I slid down the other side,
I was hurt, confused, lost--and so I cried.

"Don't be sad," said a voice, so I looked around,
There was a rose bush growing deep in the ground.
"Notice where you are strong, let go of feeling weak,
Let me help put more color on your cheek...

You will always remember to grow caring and tender,
Still with sharp thorns that can easily render.
Allow yourself to blossom with each tear you cry,
As you grow older, you'll discover just why."

I accepted her gift and went on my way,
Following the winding path down to the bay.
But before I could go further, take another step,
A big old gate was blocking me yet.

I felt all my doubts crash in on me,
What to do? There was no key!
But I looked closer, instead of moping,
And guess what? It was already open!

A little bit rusty, it squeaked as I slid by,
A little crusty bit caught the corner of my eye!
I felt so stupid. As much as I had tried,
I sat down to comfort myself, and so I cried.

"Don't be sad," said a voice, so I looked left,
There was a spider looming her weft.
"It's not complicated, it's quite simple,
Let me spin laugh lines on your temple."

I accepted her gift, and I took it to heart,
Already I knew I was far from the start.
Here at the crossroads, what decision to make?
An opening in a tree seemed the right decision to make.

I moved through the hollow, and what an astound!
Finding a world where no one was bound!
Here I met a relative previously unknown,
She was my higher self, where I had not yet grown.

"I would like to release what has been weighing me down,"
I passed a suitcase of money along with a frown,
"I've been keeping myself ransom, hostage to my fate,
But now I know I have the keys to the gate."

"Well done," she said, "Gold stars, kisses on both cheeks!
You have proved yourself strong when you thought you were weak."
And upon my forehead planted a kiss, "Goodbye for now!"
Which spread into the butterfly wings across my brow.

"Thank you for the blessing, I feel much stronger,
Just like how the summer nights grow longer.
I know that everyone is a story inside her,
That's why I'll become a union organizer."

"And so my child, as you look upon my face,
Notice every wrinkle, what they really trace.
The bloom of the rose has faded from my cheek,
But you can still see the thorns for I am not weak

Here in the laugh lines by my eyes,
I'm sure you see the spiders surprise.
And tattooed here on my third eye,
Is the butterfly, transformation in disguise.

"I see you, Grandma, I realize your beauty,
And now I understand that my personal duty
Is to love myself, moles, stretch marks, and scars,
For each has a story that takes us the most far."

Kayla Garnet Rose Copyright 2018