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Made To Feel Welcome
TJM (January 1948 / San Francisco, CA)

Made To Feel Welcome

Poem By Tom J. Mariani

I'm sure Sandra M. Gilbert
The author of her collection
Of poems titled
'ghost volcano'

Had no idea what her poem
'Kissing the Bread'
Would remind me of
When she wrote about

Her mother's habit of
Kissing old bread
Before she threw it away
Sandra found out

'Her mother the Sicilian midwife
taught her, taught all nine, '...

'Non so. You kiss it like
crossing yourself before a crisis, before
the train leaves the station,
before the baby falls,
startled, into a sudden
scorch of air.'

What a description of birth
- -a baby falling startled
into a sudden
scorch of air

My grandmother
Who is now 103
Has told me of her mother
Who was a midwife in Maui

They grew up in the Hawiian islands
After their parents came
From Puerto Rico speaking
Spanish learning pidgin-Hawaiian

My great-grandmother Vegas
Had other skills too
In addition to being a mid-wife
She could heal the sick and injured

Her blessings combined with
Her homemade remedies
Brought comfort and restoration
Of health and well being

Both were more fragile back then
From childhood mortality
To a variety of fevers boils
Farming injuries violent digestive alimments

She was also with them
When they could no longer fight back
She blessed them and assured them
They would be welcome

They were exposed to much of what
We are now insulted from by
Vaccinations hospitals real doctors
Refreigereation indoor plumbing

However as far as I know
Babies still fall startled
Into a sudden scorch or air
Hopfully into warm welcoming arms

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Comments (2)

I particularly like the last atanza However as far as I know Babies still fall startled Into a sudden scorch or air Hopfully still into warm welcoming arms By the way - and I've found this in my poems too - you might want to copy and paste to word and spell check. Forrest
very interesting. i'm told: some women stand up giving birth. just food for thought. take care.


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